This morning I was looking at an image Pinterest thought I might like, and instantly became an keen fan of very exciting North American mixed media artist, Lanny Bergner ‘Mixed media’ barely covers what he does, though.
Using a wide repertoire of techniques common to many textile and fibre arts – coiling, hand stitch, fraying, twisting, wrapping, gluing and knotting, to produce his works, Bergner employs bronze, brass, aluminum and stainless steel screening (meshes), wire, silicone, monofilament and glass frit (knowing nothing about glass I had to look up that word, frit) Bergner’s work clearly falls within textile and fibre arts, but depend on an essential characteristic of these man-made materials – their inherent self supporting rigidity.
Working from organic life inspirations, and using just a few simple tools – metal snips, pliers and more recently a blowtorch – the artist is able to produce semi-sheer organic looking vessels and grid constructions that require no internal construction supports and layers. It is exciting to me that many of the living things that have inspired Bergner’s art are fairly ephemeral or fragile, but despite using the harsh raw materials he does, he can still imbue his works with such fleeting, delicate organic qualities.
The results are beautiful, and hardly surprisingly words used about his art include ‘ethereal’ and ‘sheer’. I have the impression of light, almost diaphanous forms, and yet if I were privileged to handle a piece (and my fingers are itching) I’m sure I’d find it heavier than I expected – which is not to say ‘heavy’, but nowhere near so lightweight as silk organza or stiff tulle suggested by these images –
Lanny Bergner, “Circling” 2010, 26″ x 82″ x 4″. Bronze mesh, silicone, glass frit.
Lanny Bergner “Angular” 2011, 17″ x 20″ x 16″. Bronze mesh, linen thread.
His bio contains this wonderful statement “My aim is to bring the natural/artificial and man/nature together into an assemblage of forms that appear to have grown into being. I love the natural world and am constantly inspired by its beauty and varieties of form. This, in combination with my fears, quirks and joys, results in work that celebrates the mystery and wonder of it all”. Note to self, I must work on a statement upgrade.
Images supplied courtesy Snyderman-Works Galleries Philadelphia PA