Fine Art

Grace Visits: Artist Miriam Brumer

 

THE BRISTLIES GO FOR A WALK, 9”x12”, ink on paper, 2016.

 

Brumer’s art has the power to be formally delicate, while at the same time consisting of a razor sharp humor penetrating the skin of pretense, which she peels open for scrutiny. In THE BRISTLIES GO FOR A WALK, a figurative grouping of diverse entities sashay their way down whatever avenue legs with quivering cilia go, enjoying their outing as they bump up and touch one another. Even though we do not hear sounds, the rhythms of unsung music are uproariously present.

Brumer worked at The Queens Museum of Art in the Education department for 20 years, from 1987 to 2007. Having taught Art History courses at various colleges and universities before going  to the Museum, Brumer proposed giving a lecture course for adults titled THE LOOKING SERIES. Oftentimes related to Museum exhibitions, the Series became remarkably popular with visitors to the institution, proof of a successful outreach into the community. Brumer invited artists and critics to speak and provocative discussions followed. She told me, “It was fun…I loved it…researching the different techniques the artists used…when I spoke about art…I communicated formal qualities rather than the minutia of an artist’s life…”

Brumer is foremost a painter and a colorist, using acrylics on wood to translate her steadfast vision. I chose to focus on her mainly black and white ink on paper drawings because I am fascinated by the opportunity to observe her process — the raveling and unraveling of line as it weaves through content establishing its own unique territory. Drawing can do that like no other medium because of its inherent investigative quality, exhaling both conscious and unconscious mirages, suppression be damned.

 

LACEWING (detail), 30.5”x28”, mixed media, 2000.

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  • Suzan Globus April 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for introducing Miriam’s work to me. It reminds me of looking a drop of water on a slide under a microscope, only more beautiful and mysterious.

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Suzan – I love the analogy. Thank you.

      Reply
  • Miriam Brumer April 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Grace, thank you so much for the time, effort and interest you put into the interview with me. Miriam and her drawings are totally understood by you and I appreciate the meticulous care you took to explain the various factors that have gone into the work. You give eloquent voice to elements I’ve sensed but hadn’t before articulated. I admire your ability to put these insights into words.Thanks!

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      And I was privileged to have this opportunity to articulate my thoughts on your drawings which have always resonated with me. Thanks so much.

      Reply
  • Mimi Smith April 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Excellent article about Miriam’s work. And wonderful images of her pieces.

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks Mimi – I know a lot of people were not that familiar with Miriam’s drawings.

      Reply
  • June Wilson April 21, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Miriam’s drawings are fascinating in their intricacy. In this world you see the child that could never stop moving. The drawings make the page resonate like a tuning fork after the first lines are drawn.
    I have a better understanding of Miriam’s work . Thanks.

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Beautifully stated June. Thanks.

      Reply
  • Phyllis Rosser April 21, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Beautiful descriptions of Miriam’s process and drawings. The work and the writing are evanescent. I love the work you’ve chosen to illustrate this critique and on your blog page.

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Phyllis – I value your words.

      Reply
  • Ronnie Oppenheim April 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Beautifully written piece-erudite, historically referential with a clear understanding of the special hand that holds the brush-I understand the connection that you feel with her-
    Thank you
    Ronnie

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Ronnie for commenting and for our viewpoint.

      Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you Ronnie – Appreciate that you commented.

      Reply
  • Betsy Carter April 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    What a lovely piece, Grace. You really painted a provocative portrait (no pun) of her and her relationship to her work.

    Reply
    • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      Betsy – since you are the “real” writer, I especially appreciate your words. Thanks.

      Reply
  • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to make a studio visit to Miriam Brumer and see her work.

    Reply
    • Irit Edelman-Novemsky April 21, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Superb! I love your ability to get into her head and articulate her creative process. you answer questions I’ve been asking Miriam for a long time. Only another artist can do that.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
      • grace graupe -pillard April 21, 2017 at 8:25 am

        Irit- thank you so much for your comment.

        Reply
      • Faye coleman April 21, 2017 at 11:33 am

        Really a superb rendition of madam Brumer’s exquisitely rendered drawings. Grace, a pleasure to read and gaze. Lovely!

        Reply
        • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

          Good to hear from you Faye! Thanks

          Reply
    • Rebekah Diller April 21, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Great piece. Helped me see the work in a new way.

      Reply
      • Grace Graupe-Pillard April 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

        Rebekah – Glad you had time to read this – and see Miriam’s drawings. Thankx

        Reply