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Rita Bernstein

Touched

June 2022

Selected Works Thumbnails
Chorus Of Feeling  7" x 8"  Oil, Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Chorus Of Feeling

7" x 8"

Oil, Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Compression  6.5" x 7"  Embossed Paper With Silk & Sterling Silver Wire

Compression

6.5" x 7"

Embossed Paper With Silk & Sterling Silver Wire

Inquire
Covenant  7.5" x 7"  Oil, Thread, And Graphite On Paper

Covenant (SOLD)

7.5" x 7"

Oil, Thread, And Graphite On Paper

Inquire
Disturbance (Diptych)  7.5" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Disturbance (Diptych)

7.5" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Exception  7" x 7"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Exception (SOLD)

7" x 7"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Family Secrets  9.5" x 7.5"  Oil, Charcoal, And Collage On Paper

Family Secrets (SOLD)

9.5" x 7.5"

Oil, Charcoal, And Collage On Paper

 

Inquire
First Born  7" x 5"  Monotype

First Born

7" x 5"

Monotype

Inquire
Full Stop  10" x 10"  Oil And Silk Thread On Paper

Full Stop

10" x 10"

Oil And Silk Thread On Paper

Inquire
Imperative  6.5" x 7"  Graphite, Thread, And Collage On Paper

Imperative

6.5" x 7"

Graphite, Thread, And Collage On Paper

Inquire
In Spite Of Everything  8.5" x 8"  Oil, Silk, Horsehair, And Collage On Paper

In Spite Of Everything

8.5" x 8"

Oil, Silk, Horsehair, And Collage On Paper

Inquire
Late Letter  6" x 8"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Late Letter (SOLD)

6" x 8"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Maternity  7" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Maternity

7" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Mixed Feelings (Diptych)  8.25" x 11.5"  Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Mixed Feelings (Diptych)

8.25" x 11.5"

Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Pandemic Holiday  5 x 6.5"  Oil On Paper

Pandemic Holiday

5 x 6.5"

Oil On Paper

Inquire
Second Thoughts (Diptych)  7.5" x 7"  Oil On Paper

Second Thoughts (Diptych) (SOLD)

7.5" x 7"

Oil On Paper

Inquire
Sequestered  7" x 6.5"  Monotype With Collage On Paper

Sequestered

7" x 6.5"

Monotype With Collage On Paper

Inquire
Standing Witness  9.5" x 5"  Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

Standing Witness

9.5" x 5"

Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

Inquire
To Begin Again  5.5" x 4"  Graphite, Type, Thread, And Collage On Paper

To Begin Again

5.5" x 4"

Graphite, Type, Thread, And Collage On Paper

Inquire
Tracing Thought  7" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Conte Crayon, And Thread On Paper

Tracing Thought

7" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Conte Crayon, And Thread On Paper

Inquire
Two Eternities (Diptych)  6" x 6.5"  Graphite And Wax On Paper

Two Eternities (Diptych) (SOLD)

6" x 6.5"

Graphite And Wax On Paper

Inquire
Winter Of Our Discontent  7" x 8.5"  Oil And Fiber On Paper

Winter Of Our Discontent

7" x 8.5"

Oil And Fiber On Paper

Inquire
Chorus Of Feeling  7" x 8"  Oil, Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Chorus Of Feeling

7" x 8"

Oil, Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Compression  6.5" x 7"  Embossed Paper With Silk & Sterling Silver Wire

Compression

6.5" x 7"

Embossed Paper With Silk & Sterling Silver Wire

Covenant  7.5" x 7"  Oil, Thread, And Graphite On Paper

Covenant (SOLD)

7.5" x 7"

Oil, Thread, And Graphite On Paper

Disturbance (Diptych)  7.5" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Disturbance (Diptych)

7.5" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Exception  7" x 7"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Exception (SOLD)

7" x 7"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Family Secrets  9.5" x 7.5"  Oil, Charcoal, And Collage On Paper

Family Secrets (SOLD)

9.5" x 7.5"

Oil, Charcoal, And Collage On Paper

 

First Born  7" x 5"  Monotype

First Born

7" x 5"

Monotype

Full Stop  10" x 10"  Oil And Silk Thread On Paper

Full Stop

10" x 10"

Oil And Silk Thread On Paper

Imperative  6.5" x 7"  Graphite, Thread, And Collage On Paper

Imperative

6.5" x 7"

Graphite, Thread, And Collage On Paper

In Spite Of Everything  8.5" x 8"  Oil, Silk, Horsehair, And Collage On Paper

In Spite Of Everything

8.5" x 8"

Oil, Silk, Horsehair, And Collage On Paper

Late Letter  6" x 8"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Late Letter (SOLD)

6" x 8"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Maternity  7" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Maternity

7" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Charcoal, And Thread On Paper

Mixed Feelings (Diptych)  8.25" x 11.5"  Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Mixed Feelings (Diptych)

8.25" x 11.5"

Silk, Graphite, And Thread On Paper

Pandemic Holiday  5 x 6.5"  Oil On Paper

Pandemic Holiday

5 x 6.5"

Oil On Paper

Second Thoughts (Diptych)  7.5" x 7"  Oil On Paper

Second Thoughts (Diptych) (SOLD)

7.5" x 7"

Oil On Paper

Sequestered  7" x 6.5"  Monotype With Collage On Paper

Sequestered

7" x 6.5"

Monotype With Collage On Paper

Standing Witness  9.5" x 5"  Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

Standing Witness

9.5" x 5"

Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

To Begin Again  5.5" x 4"  Graphite, Type, Thread, And Collage On Paper

To Begin Again

5.5" x 4"

Graphite, Type, Thread, And Collage On Paper

Tracing Thought  7" x 5"  Oil, Fiber, Conte Crayon, And Thread On Paper

Tracing Thought

7" x 5"

Oil, Fiber, Conte Crayon, And Thread On Paper

Two Eternities (Diptych)  6" x 6.5"  Graphite And Wax On Paper

Two Eternities (Diptych) (SOLD)

6" x 6.5"

Graphite And Wax On Paper

Winter Of Our Discontent  7" x 8.5"  Oil And Fiber On Paper

Winter Of Our Discontent

7" x 8.5"

Oil And Fiber On Paper

Standing Witness, 9.5" x 9", Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

Standing Witness, 9.5" x 9", Monotype With Silk And Thread On Paper

“My works on paper reflect fragments of thoughts, feelings, or sensations that are provisional and ephemeral. They are the realization of a moment or the residue of the day. Reflecting the stream of my consciousness, some are analogous to a single word or utterance, and others -- often diptychs or triptychs -- resemble excerpts from a longer narrative.

I work exclusively on paper which, like skin, is fragile and permeable. It yields readily to the touch, calling to mind the imperfections that accumulate with time and experience on the body and the psyche… .

My work is small, spare, and reticent, a conscious choice. In a world where so much seems big, loud, and competing for attention, I value what is otherwise and regret that it is often overlooked. I am interested in how little one can say and still convey meaning.”

- Rita Bernstein

Exhibition Statement

Quiet and mysterious, Bernstein’s work is a catalog of tactile experiences. The artist combines her distinctive mark-making with manipulation of the paper itself through pokes, probes, strokes, squeezes, and tickles. Some pieces suggest the pages of a book or journal with scratches and diagrams that appear almost, but not quite, decipherable. Others resemble scientific or medical procedures – a smear of vaguely biological material or a tenderly sutured laceration. 

Touched presents a short survey of Bernstein’s current studio practice that includes individual framed works, diptychs and triptychs, an installation of calendar pages, and a book of stains. Each component provides a space for contemplation and empathy. Tactile sensation is, perhaps, our most primal sense, and Bernstein’s compassionate handling connects to a deeply felt shared experience of benevolence and care, the most basic definition of humanity.  

 

 

Image Left: Exception, 7" x 7", Oil, Fiber, Charcoal And Thread On Paper

Exhibition Statment 2

Rita Bernstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, and following a career as a civil rights attorney, she began her art career in photography and works on paper. She has an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a B.A. in English, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Barnard College of Columbia University; and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the University of Michigan Museum of Art; and the Woodmere Art Museum.  Her work has been widely exhibited, including at the Griffin Museum; the Noyes Museum of Art; Fleisher Art Memorial; the University of Pennsylvania; Moore College of Art and Design; and the University of the Arts. 

Bernstein was selected for the prestigious Fleisher Art Memorial Challenge Exhibition and has also been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; the Independence Foundation; the Leeway Foundation; and the Ruttenberg Arts Foundation. Her works have been reviewed in many publications, including the New York Times; the Photo Review; the Boston Globe; the Philadelphia Inquirer; Black and White Magazine; and Lenswork, among others. 

Touched is Rita Bernstein’s first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery. Bernstein lives and works in Philadelphia and New York.

 

 

 

Image Right: Disturbance (Diptych), 7.5" x 5", Oil, Fiber, Charcoal And Thread On Paper

Second Thought (Diptych), 7.5" x 7", Oil On Paper

Second Thought (Diptych), 7.5" x 7", Oil On Paper