JANUARY 5, 2018 - JANUARY 31, 2018
Cottonwood Center for the Arts is honored to present the work of locally and nationally acclaimed artist, Bernard Arnest. Born in Denver in 1917, Arnest's life as an artist was quite unique. With a career that spanned more than 40 years he experienced what any professional artist seeks: consistency and stability.
Arnest began his formal training at what was at the time the Fine Arts Center School under Boardman Robinson and Henry Varnum Poor. He emphasized that this training centered on "how to make a painting work when it is considered only as a light-modifying machine" and which he described as "picture making" versus painting.
Once he finished his education Arnest began an impressive art career, which included exhibiting, teaching, and advising. In 1940 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Work In Painting and had his first one-man show at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Additionally, Arnest exhibited at the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the National Gallery of Art as well as one-man shows at the Fine Arts Center, the Denver Art Museum, and Colorado College. In 1947 he became chief instructor at the Minneapolis School of Art and throughout his life held teaching positions at the University of Minnesota, Colorado College, and the Fine Arts Center. He was represented by Kraushaar Galleries in New York from 1947 until his death in 1986.
Perhaps Arnest's success as an artist came from his understanding of not only the formal, but the innate emotional experience of creating art. While taught to separate the self from "picture making," he acknowledged that there was no true way to remove the pleasure and self-satisfaction that transforms picture making into painting. He felt that the subjects he was drawn to - landscapes, portraits, and city-scapes - were simply appreciations and representations but he also understood the freedom and joy experienced by the painter. He recognized how relationships formed between artist and subject and how the interpretation of hidden signs and messages are impossible to remove. Ultimately, Arnest was a storyteller, taking reality and objective subject matter and translating it into a valuable experience for both himself and viewers.
Please join us as we celebrate the life and career of Bernard Arnest and experience the stories only he knew how to tell.