Denise Bibro has two adjacent gallery spaces in Chelsea. The main Gallery and in a separate room, the Platform Project Space. On a recent visit, the drawings of Henry Bermudez were on display. Two of the drawings have very mathematical frameworks, that create structure for his freehand patterning. Bermudez is a renowned artist, who has exhibited extensively throughout the world. His work is included in many important collections. He represented his native country of Venezuela at the Venice Biennale in 1986. Bermudez takes inspiration for his art from pre-Columbian and religious themes. His black on white drawings are intricate and detailed with swirls of patterns.
In the drawing “Square” the swirling pattern is broken up by a vertical line bisecting the paper and a line drawing of a square in the center of the page. The bisecting line creates a line of symmetry for the square. This symmetry seems to anchor Bermudez’s frenetic free-for-all of patterning.
The exuberance of pattern is also evident in the drawing “Center Piece”. This drawing again features the curls and waves of pattern. This time – however – the structure is based on a circle. The circle has been divided into two separate concentric rings and a center circle that is empty. The inner ring is divided in to six equal sections. The outer ring is also made up of six equal sections but it has been rotated 30 degrees. The two rings each have a different type of patterning. In this drawing you can really see Bermudez’s cultural influences. There is a connection to pre-Columbian calendars. Bermudez uses geometric mathematical frameworks to create order for his freeform patterning.
In the main gallery there is a group show of ten artists titled “Process”. I was immediately drawn to the work of David Ambrose. He has a very interesting approach to working with paper. He first pierces the paper, making a multitude of tiny holes with raised lips. These pierces create patterns. When a pigment is then applied to this uneven surface it is forced to interact with the pattern.
The punctured patterns in “High Kente” have an architectural element. Near the top there is a circular form divided up into ten even segments. It reminds me of patterns found in both stained glass windows and Middle Eastern ornamentation. There are other sections of the paper with rectangular grids and other geometric forms. Some of Ambrose’s work uses lace patterning as inspiration. The piercing of this work creates a type of paper lace. Lace making is probably one of the most mathematical of all needlework. That mathematical sensibility has carried over to this watercolor on pierced paper .
— Susan Happersett
Susan Thanks so much for your review.