Forum Gallery, New York
New York, NY, September 30, 2007 – Forum Gallery, New York presents a one-person exhibition of nineteen exquisitely colored, meticulously constructed three dimensional “structurist” reliefs by Canadian artist Eli Bornstein, including many of the most important works spanning his more than 60-year career. This is Bornstein’s first solo exhibition in seventeen years.
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Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1922, Bornstein first studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, an important turning point in his artistic life. There, he met artists Robert von Neuman and Howard Thomas and art historian John Wilde, whom he credits with arousing his interest in the connections between art, literature, history and philosophy, as well as introducing him to the work of the European Impressionists, Post-impressionists and Cubists. Bornstein was fascinated by the ways in which Cézanne, Monet, Seurat and Pissarro depicted light by their brushstrokes and their use of abstract shapes to portray recognizable subject matter.
Early on, Bornstein incorporated these philosophies and techniques into his own paintings. Later, two summers spent studying in France coupled with close correspondence and collaboration with Charles Biederman, encouraged the further maturation of his artistic practice. The idea of abstract shapes used to describe natural forms eventually evolved into the multi-planed structurist reliefs in the exhibition, the work for which he has been most acclaimed.
Beginning in 1950, Bornstein taught at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada where he continues to live today. Bornstein had his first solo exhibition in 1954 at the University of Saskatoon and has since gone on to be the subject of fifteen exhibitions around the world, including a 1996 retrospective at the Mendel Art Gallery, also in Saskatoon. In 1960 Bornstein began editing and publishing The Structurist, a publication devoted to the ideologies and theories of art, architecture and nature, now in its 48th issue. Bornstein retired from teaching in 1990.
In addition to building his own home and making three trips to the Arctic, Bornstein has seen his work featured in collections internationally, including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; the Fort Lauderdale Art Museum, FL; the Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; and the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK. Monumental outdoor commissions are permanently installed at the University of Bremen, Germany; the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg; University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan; the International Art Terminal, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Wascana Centre Authority Administration Building, Regina, Saskatchewan.
Bornstein’s career has been internationally recognized and awarded. He is the recipient of the Allied Arts Medal, from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (1968); the Governor General’s Queen Elizabeth Medal (1977); and Gold Medal of the Accademia Italia delle Arti e de Lavoro, in Salsomaggiore, Italy (1980), among other accolades.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 48 page full-color catalogue with an essay by curator and writer Gerald Nordland. The opening reception will take place Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at Forum Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, from 5:30 - 7:30pm. The exhibition continues through Saturday, November 24, 2007. For more information please contact the Gallery.