David Bermant Foundation the past, present and future
June 25th at 1:00pm PDT // 4:00pm EDT
COLOR, LIGHT, MOTION
COLOR, LIGHT, MOTION is an online series featuring media artists and scholars in dialogue about artworks from the Bermant Collection of media and kinetic arts. Each featured presenter will discuss selected artworks in history and context and in relation to their own work and connections. This series is produced in collaboration with Harvestworks NY and the David Bermant Foundation.
Cristina Albuis an art historian, educator, and writer focusing on crossovers between contemporary art, cognitive sciences, and technology. She is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Albu is the author of Mirror Affect: Seeing Self, Observing Others in Contemporary Art (Minnesota University Press, 2016) and the co-editor (with Dawna Schuld) of Perception and Agency in Shared Spaces of Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2018). Her writings have appeared in scholarly anthologies (e.g. Nervous Systems, Hybrid Practices, Framings, The Permanence of the Transient, Crossing Cultures) and journals (e.g. Afterimage, Artnodes, Camera Obscura, and the Comparative Media Arts Journal). At UMKC, Albu teaches courses on global contemporary art, participatory and site-specific tendencies, museum studies, and the role of emotion in art reception. She is currently working on a book which charts how artists have paired neurofeedback technology with sounds and video images to cultivate an embodied understanding of our entanglement in more or less visible systems.
MIrror XVII (1987) by James Seawright
House Plants (1984) by James Seawright
P.U.L.S.E 1987 Show featuring James Seawright
ELLEN K. LEVY, a multi-media artist and writer, is a past president of the College Art Association who explores interrelationships among art, evolution, and complex systems. Levy highlights them through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and curatorial opportunities. Levy has exhibited widely and was recipient of an AICA award and an arts commission from NASA following a solo exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences (1985). She has exhibited her art in such landmark exhibitions as Weather Report (Boulder Museum, cur Lucy Lippard), Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics (Field Museum, Chicago, adv. Martin Kemp), and the second Moscow Biennial. Her art has been reviewed in The New York Times, Issues (published by the National Academy of Science), and many other publications. She was guest editor of CAA's special issue of Art Journal (spring 1996), the first widely distributed academic publication on contemporary art and the genetic code. Before earning her doctorate (University of Plymouth, UK, 2012), she was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Arts and Sciences (Skidmore College, 1999). She has taught at The New School and Brooklyn College and was special advisor on art, science, and technology to the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Levy and Charissa Terranova are co-editors of D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's Generative Influences in Art, Design: From Forces to Forms (Bloomsbury Publications, 2021). With Barbara Larson, Levy is co-editor of the "Science and the Arts since 1750" book series, Routledge Press.
NENE HUMPHREYwas born in Portage Wisconsin and has lived in New York since 1978. Her work explores loss, the neurobiology of emotion and the beauty inherent in both. The integration of art and science is fundamental to Humphrey’s practice. As a long-term artist in residence at New York University’s LeDoux Lab, she collaborates with neuroscientists to depict the seemingly infinite space of emotion and memory as it is processed in the brain. This work includes, drawing, field recordings and videos, and is integrated into performances, installations, sculpture and video works. Humphrey has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries including PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Sculpture Center, New York, NY the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, Mead Museum, Amherst, MA, Palmer Museum, PA, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, and the Lesley Heller Gallery, New York, NY. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, Brown Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Dora Maar Foundation, Watermill Arts and Anonymous was a Woman among others. Her work has been written about in numerous publications including The New York Times, Art in America and ArtNews, Sculpture Magazine, and Hyperallergic.
Foundation director Bess Rochlitzer with Executive director of Butler Institute Dr. Louis Zona visited the Butler museum to see how the collection gifted to the museum was installed. She was very pleased with the new home for these historic works!
The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion was established in 1986 with the mission to encourage and advocate experimental visual art which draws its form, content and working materials from late twentieth-century technology. The working materials include physical sources of energy, light, and sound. The resulting artworks question and extend the boundaries of the visual arts. To learn more about The David Bermant Foundation and its collection, visit the foundation website DavidBermantFoundation.org.
The Lasso, Alejandro and Moira Sina, 1997
Thomas Wilfred- "Lumia"
Susan Hopmans feeling the NanoMandala projection on sand by Victoria Vesna at the Bermant foundation gallery.
Clavilux Junior, First Home Clavilux, Thomas Wilfred, 1930
The collection of 98 works valued at several million dollars includes pieces created by many of the pioneers of technologically based art such as Marcel Duchamp (above image), Nam June Paik, Jenny Holzer, Jean Tinguely, Pol Bury, George Rhoads, John Deandria, James Seawright, and dozens more.
David Bermant was one of the most admired collectors of avant-garde art in the United States. His collection of kinetic art includes works which employ both virtual motion as well as actual motion. Art which utilizes video, holography, magnetism, electronics, robotics, chemistry, and various types of light provide a look into the fourth dimension.
The late David Bermant was born in New York City and grew up in Manhattan. In January of 1941, six months after graduating cum laude from Yale University at age 21, he joined the U.S. Army. He ended his army career as a major of artillery in Patton’s Third Army, earning a bronze star with an oak leaf cluster for his actions. In 1947, he married Ruth Jesephson, and later divorced after 46 years. They had four children: Ann, Jeffrey, Wendy, and Andrew. David then married Susan Hopmans and established homes in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez valley where he created and maintained facilities to house a large and significant art collection.
David had two great interests: building shopping centers — on the East Coast and in California — and collecting art. Technological art was his favorite because it utilized modern science and technology and was more dynamic than other art that just hung on the wall Bermant felt that such art should be shared in public spaces other than museums and galleries. He established and funded the David W. Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion to ensure the art form most dear to his heart would thrive beyond his lifetime.
Indestructible I, George Rhoads, 1970
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