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Bernice Steinbaum’s Exhibition in Print 2011

On 09, May 2011 | 4 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

With Mosaic Art NOW 2011 finally released, we thought we would take another look at the Exhibition in Print sponsored by LATICRETE – this time through the eyes of our jurors.

The EIP 2011 is actually two separate exhibits, one curated by Bernice Steinbaum, PhD and the other by the team of Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings.  The selections were made entirely independent of one another, giving MAN readers the opportunity to see how the perspectives of various influencers in the larger art market impact the judging process.

Today, we will briefly look at Ms. Steinbaum’s selections. 

Bernice Steinbaum, PhD, is one of the most respected members of the art community in the United States.  Gallerist, dealer, curator, juror, speaker and author, Ms. Steinbaum has a reputation for a discerning eye, honest tongue, and snappy wardrobe.  Over 30 years ago, Steinbaum broke the mold in Manhattan, opening a gallery in Soho that focused entirely on female artists – blazing a trail that eventually earned her a Woman of the Year Award from the National Organization for Women.

Steinbaum now champions emerging artists whose work speaks eloquently about the issues of gender, race, culture and identity at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, FL.  In 2000, after closing the doors of her Soho gallery, she was instrumental in founding the Wynwood Arts District in Miami when she turned a rundown crack house in that area into her eponymous two-story, world-class, positively magnetic art gallery.

Richter Scale (2009) Hung Liu
Courtesy of the artist and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

The Bernice Steinbaum Gallery currently represents two Macarthur “Genius” award winners, five Guggenheim winners, multiple National Endowment Winners, two Annenberg Fellows and other artists of note.  Its clientele is made up of 50% museum acquisition funds, 30% corporate collections and 20% individual collectors.  Ms. Steinbaum is a regular participant in Art Basel Miami as both a gallerist and speaker.

In short, as a wise man we once worked for used to say, “She knows how to pick her horses.”

Four years ago when, green as grass and loaded with passion for mosaics, we approached Steinbaum about a contemporary mosaic exhibit in her gallery, she silently flipped through our catalogues, handed us our proverbial hat and later, over cocktails,  held forth with honesty, sagacity and wit about What Makes The Art World Tick.  Mosaic Art NOW and the Exhibition in Print are a direct reflection of Steinbaum’s invaluable input and care.  We are forever grateful.

Here, then, are Ms. Steinbaum’s mosaic horses.

Please bear in mind that this is just a representative portion of the Exhibition in Print as it appears in MAN 2011.  We readily admit that much of the exciting dynamics of the Exhibit – most notably context as it relates to both the Exhibition as a whole and the intent of individual artists – is lost within this limited space.  In the magazine, four pages are devoted to three works by each artist and are accompanied by in-depth Artist Statements and Descriptions of each work. 

We highly recommend that you click on the images for larger and more detailed views.   All photographs are by the artist unless otherwise noted.

Excerpt from Ms. Steinbaum’s Juror’s Statement:

The art world is an imperfect place.  Museums exhibit artwork; art periodicals critique it; collectors collect it; critics criticize it; auction houses provide a secondary market for it; and commercial galleries supply a retail mechanism.  It is an arcane and elitist system of interlocking patronage that has not changed in the past one hundred years.  Of the thousands of practicing artists residing in the Americas and other continents, only a handful are able to support themselves solely by making art.  In spite of these facts, however, these artists continue to make art because of their passion for mark making.

All artists make magic – for those of us who don’t (like myself), it is virtually impossible to know or agree on what all the ingredients are that are used in the potions.  This juror selected the magic that worked for her – given that she is in the business of selling magic in her daily life as an art dealer.

Steinbaum’s Best in Show Artist:  Luca Barberini, Italy

 Folla (Crowd)  120 x 250 x 4 cm  
Glass smalti and marble.

Folla Detail

Steinbaum:  “In his larger works, the viewer gets the sense that it is abstract work, perhaps a pointillist painting, on further examination we find individual people with delineated faces, each having their own personalities.”

Barberini:  “My personal artistic ‘language’ for exploring artistic expression is mosaic.  The themes, the techniques and the materials change depending on what I want to ‘say.’  I view contemporary mosaic as a valid artistic expression equal to the fine arts.”

Jo Braun, USA

Mosaic of Remnants 56 x 39 x 1 in.  
Remnant stone, porcelain, glass, found objects on hand-formed cement panel.

 Mosaic of Remnants Detail

Steinbaum:  “I am reminded in this work that women have known about recycling before it became politically correct . . .”
Braun:  “Mosaic compositions are traditionally born of the interplay of individual tesserae within an overall composition.  This leads to a debate on which element is primary.  “the materials drive the composition,’ says Mr. Intuitive.  ‘No,’ replies Ms. Analytical, ‘the materials must serve the design.'”
Note:  Ms. Braun was selected for the EIP 2011 by both Steinbaum and Biggs/Collings.
Lilian Broca, Canada
Queen Esther with Mordechai (Triptych)  64 x 64 x 1 in.
Smalti, vireous glass, gems, gold smalti.  Collection of Horatio and Jackie Kemeny
Photography by Ted Clarke

Queen Esther with Mordechai Detail

Steinbaum:  “. . . (Broca) returns to her (Romanian) roots in this series and the biblical story of Queen Esther. . . As a feminist, it was particularly easy for me to relate to her work that deals with women in society both historically an currently.  Will we always, in this patriarchal society in which we live, have to accommodate, cooperate and negotiate in order to convince that we (women) can be leaders with wisdom and vision?”
Broca:  “The defeat of the Persian empire soon after the end of Anasuerus’ reign is captured symbolically in the right panel.  The viewer watches the deterioration  of a strong, rich ‘Persia’ in bright colors and golds slowly melting down into a monochromatic ‘drawing’ and finally a mere heap of pixels at the bottom.  I used the basics of mosaic construction – tesserae and pixels – to indicate the end of an era.”
Lynne Chinn, USA
Astral  44 x 33.5 in
Colored and iridescent smalti, 24K gold, copper and titanium smalti, vitreous glass, pyrite suns, pyrite clusters, aragonite clusters, imperial sodalite.  Private collection
Astral  Detail
Steinbaum:  “Her work, like nature, creates feelings of calmness and serenity.”
Chinn:  “My inspiration for Astral was the imagery that is now available to us from the Hubble Space Telescope.  Celestial bodies, stars, planets and a field of space debris from a supernova explosion are elements I chose for the design.  I incorporated natural stones and minerals to further enhance the idea of a primordial night sky.” 
Mona Magdi Kenawy, Egypt

Memories  35 x 50 cm

Volcanic stones, mother of pearl, colored plaster.

Memories Detail
Steinbaum:  “Art, by definition, is about ideas.  Kenawy asks questions like those that contemporary painters ask, and when answered, moves on to the next question!”
Kenawy:  “The abstract design creates simplicity and a sense of unity between contrasts.  Although Memories was executed in a small size, its effect has been remarkable for many viewers.”
Note:  Ms. Kenawy was selected for the EIP 2011 by both Steinbaum and Biggs/Collings.
We hope you enjoyed this quick look at the Exhibition in Print 2011 sponsored by LATICRETE.  Later this week, we’ll cover the selections of Biggs and Collings. 

Enjoy – Nancie
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
Luca Barberini
Jo Braun
Lilian Broca
Lynne Chinn
Mona Magdi Kenawy

To order a copy of Mosaic Art NOW 2011 with the entire Exhibition in Print 2011 and more on the contemporary mosaic scene, click here.

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  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    You are most kind, Mr. Fishman. Thank you!

  2. George

    You and the "chefs" have generously given not only the recipes behind the magazine, but some delectible samples. Terrific pairings of mosaics and details. An especially unusual one in Lilian Broca's disintegrating side panel. Valiant work to follow up after Bernice Steinbaum's initial "critique" and getting her to bring her discernment and eloquence to bear for MAN. The magazine's a treasure.

  3. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Amen, Jules.

  4. Julie Richey

    Lovely portrait of Bernice, an Icon in the art world. We're so lucky to have her input!

Luca Barberini Bone Flowers