Ciel BergmanPhilosophically and politically, it is my opinion that one of the major tasks of the arts in the 21st Century is to relink culture and nature.

Paint is liquid matter and therefore the only limitation on its use is the human imagination; having experimented freely in my earlier years, I find I am fundamentally interested in what paint, wielded as it has been for centuries, can still communicate. I utilize traditional materials and techniques: oil paint, linseed oil, wax, liquin, turpentine and various additives: under painting, building and glazing. I am deeply moved by the color of the world; my attention is constantly riveted by the wonder of, for instance, red paint, when it remains only the physical stuff on a surface or mysteriously shifts, transforms into meaning, the instant the brain registers recognition, 'ah, a rose petal' or a blood stain or tissue. Where is the edge?
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You are invited to visit Ciel's studio in Santa Fe. Please email for an appointment.

8 the same

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Climate Conditions

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Echo BowMelt Water

No Dry SnowRim Collapse

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Sun Sweat


Fire in the Garden

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Warm Sound


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early work

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Gates

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Skins

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Antidotes

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Trees

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Water is Sacred

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Tel: 505 780-8470
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Ciel Bergman, formerly Cheryl Bowers, is a well-known painter of large and sensuous canvases that celebrate the world's beauty while confronting its darkness. First trained as a psychiatric nurse in the late 1950's, she then lived in Europe before returning to California to complete her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973. Resume and unpublished papers available upon request. A beautifully printed 68 page full-color catalog of her work is now available: Click here for more information.

She now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she continues to paint, having resigned her tenure as a full professor of art at UCSB Santa Barbara in 1994.

Her work is included in the collections of the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Oakland Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Orange County Museum of Art; the San Diego Museum of Fine Art; and the New Mexico Museum of Fine Art.

Representation:

R. B. Stevenson Gallery, Director Ronald Stevenson, 7661 Girard Ave., Suite 201, La Jolla, CA 92037. TEL: (858) 459-3917, FAX: (858) 459-0803, EMAIL

CIEL BERGMAN

Biography October, 2008

Ciel Bergman

Bergman has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at galleries and museums in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Brussels and London. Her work is in a number of public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. Several corporate collections hold work: The Gap, The Capitol Group, Banco di Roma and Atlantic Richfield, among others.

Formerly, Cheryl Bowers, she was born in Berkeley, California, grew up during the early atomic decade and graduated with a major in History from Berkeley High School in 1956. These formative years provided frequent visits to the Brundage Collection at the De Young Museum which deeply influenced her with the rich Asian aesthetic of the Pacific Basin cultures.

Initially trained with an R. N. in psychiatry during the late 50’s, she married Lynn F. Bowers, moved to Europe during the building of the Berlin Wall, gave birth to a daughter, Bridgit, and began painting full time before returning to California in 1964. Her son, Erik was born in 1965. She earned an MFA with Honors in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute under Fred Martin in 1973.

Ms. Bergman, who legally changed her name in 1988 to honor her maternal Grandmother from Sweden, was the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a SECA Award in painting from the SFMOMA and was included in the Whitney Biennial of American Art in 1975. She has received fellowships from the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, the Vermont Art Colony and was invited to submit for the American Academy of Arts and Letters and most recently was awarded a residency at The Djerassi Foundation. She taught at UCB, several other institutions of higher learning before joining the University of California Santa Barbara where she remained for 18 years after which she left her tenure as Full Professor. She moved to the quiet wilderness of Northern New Mexico where she built a studio on Cerro Pedernal in the vicinity of Abiquiu. In 2006, she moved to Santa Fe.

Ms. Bergman’s work is discussed in several books, including, The Art of Engagement, Visual Politics in California and Beyond, Dr. Peter Selz, 2005, Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975, Barbara J. Love, 2006, The Re Enchantment of Art, Suzi Gablik, 1991, Who’s Is Who in American Women, 1998, The Once and Future Goddess, Elinor Gaddon, 1989, Yesterday and Tomorrow: California Women Artists, Sylvia Moore, 1989 and California Painters, Dr. Henry Hopkins, 1989 (preface page.) Art After the Bomb, Dr. Darrell A Davisson, 2008.

Paint is liquid matter and therefore the only limitation on its use is the human imagination; having experimented freely in my earlier years, I find I am fundamentally interested in what paint, wielded as it has been for centuries, can still communicate. I utilize traditional materials and techniques: oil paint, linseed oil, wax, liquin, turpentine and various additives: under painting, building and glazing. I am deeply moved by the color of the world; my attention is constantly riveted by the wonder of, for instance, red paint, when it remains only the physical stuff on a surface or mysteriously shifts, transforms into meaning, the instant the brain registers recognition, 'ah, a rose petal' or a blood stain or tissue. Where is the edge?

I find it tragic to live in a culture where scientific imagination is applauded and artistic imagination is suspect, for they derive from the same search.

Philosophically and politically, it is my opinion that one of the major tasks of the arts in the 21st Century is to relink culture and nature. Intellectually I reject puritanism, dogmas of any description, hegemonies and systems which suppress independent thought or dictate mass response and mass behavior. Intuitively, I feel too much has been discussed and written about painting in this century. There are those of us who need to paint and those of us who need to see paint and those of us who don't care one way or another. The need to paint is in me, a life-force; a metabolic result of my being. It is an essential vent for the intensity of the awe (beauty) and terror (horror) of being alive. It is also, an ordering process whereby I might gift back to others, if I am true, a shared experience of the ecstasy of seeing. What drives my vision seems to be the need to locate a particular orientation, a 'genetically felt' space in which a simultaneous multiplicity of disparate realities coexist. And if I write that I am in search of an unknown - the deep feminine - I hope I will not be misunderstood. I feel my work may grow closer to silence and become more contemplative as I further mature.

Cynicism, irony, sarcasm and related postures hold no interest for me. Rather I am drawn to work which engages compassion, suggests the fragility of relationships in all forms, the organic, the simple and elegant, the raw and sensuous, the subtle and certainly the ineffable.
• -- Ciel Bergman

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
2004
BLOOD MILK AND WATER, Linda Durham Contemporary art, Santa Fe, NM
2002
THE ALCHEMY OF DEVOTION, R. B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
2000
ANTIDOTES, Linda Durham Contemporary Art, Galisteo, NM
2000
THE LAST SUNSET OF THE 20TH CENTURY, R. B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA. January 14 - February 19.
1998
Ciel Bergman BEFORE NEW MEXICO/AFTER CALIFORNIA: paintings & Drawings, 1980-1998. Richard L. Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, Nov. 8 through Dec. 18 Brochure.
1993-
1997
Building adobe studio in New Mexico after move from CA. Very little work produced during these three to four years of geographical and professional relocation. Resume painting in late 1997.
1990
GOOD WILD SACRED, Jaffe Baker Gallery, Boca Raton FL.
1989
GOOD WILD SACRED, Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
1987
SEA OF CLOUDS WHAT CAN I DO, Santa Barbara contemporary Art Forum. Assistant/Collaborator, Nancy Merrill.
1986
DARK ONES, Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
1985
CHERYL BOWERS at IVORY/KIMPTON. Fifth Anniversary Exhibition, San Francisco, CA.
1983
RED GATE, Kirk deGooyer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
1982
TEMPLES, Ian Birksted Gallery, London, England.
1981
TEMPLES, Ian Birksted Gallery, London, England.
Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1981
TRIAL FOR PASSAGE, Kirk deGooyer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
1980
WORK ON PAPER, Ian Birkstad Gallery, London, England.
NEW WORK-Cheryl Bowers, Ivory/Kimpton Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1979
THE CHINA POEMS, Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
Hamilton Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York City, NY.
1979
GRAFFITI, Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
The paintings of CHERYL BOWERS, Grossmont College San Diego, CA.
1978
EGYPTIAN CONCOLUMNS, California State University, Hayward, CA.
NEW WORK, UC Santa Barbara, University Art Museum.
1977
BLACK TOOL paintings, University of Oregon Art Museum, Eugene, OR.
1975
S.E.C.A. AWARD, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Curator, Suzanne Foley. San Francisco, CA.
1974
STRING QUARTET PERFORMS from THE CLAY DRAWINGS, Intersection S. F.
1973
SPIRITUAL GUIDE MAPS, Malvina Miller Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1968
MENDOCINO WINDOWS, Gallery West, Mendocino, CA.

TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS:
2000
CIEL BERGMAN / SHAUN GILMORE, Linda Durham Contemporary Art, Galisteo, NM

GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
2008
WOMEN'S WORK, Four Painters, RB Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA
2006
The Barry Berkus and Family Art Collection, Channing Peake Gallery, Santa Barbara
County Arts Commission. Catalogue
2003
DUCT AND COVER, The Santa Fe Art Institute, NM
2002
WOMEN BEYOND BORDERS, University Art Museum, Santa Barbara, CA
Representing Landscape, UCSD Art Gallery, San Diego, CA
2001
SITE UNSEEN 2 (benefit), James Kelly/Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
Originals, New Mexico Women Artists, National Museum of Women in the Arts
The Harwood Museum, September-November, Taos, NM
The Necessary Beauty, R. B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
2000
WBB - Greece. United Kingdom. Singapore.
1999
BEFORE/NOW, Images of the self, past and present, Bergamot Station T2, Santa Monica. Curated by Barbara Drucker, April.
1998
THE ART OF DRAWING, James Kelly Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM.
TREES & FACES, Santa Fe International Academy of Art, Santa Fe, NM.
WBB-Katamndu, Nepal. Toronto, Canada. Havana, Cuba. Oaxaca, Mexico.
1997
WOMEN/BEYOND BORDERS, traveling, Kenya National Museum, Gallery of Contemporary East African Art, Nairobi, Kenya. Extra Moenia-arte Moderna, Todi, Italy. Kuturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, United Kingdom. Traveling worldwide: 200 women artists from 20 countries.
1996
FLOWER POWER, Cabrillo College Gallery, Aptos, CA.
1995
CELEBRATION, La Galeria Arriba, Abiquiu, New Mexico. Curated by Rose Gutierres.
WOMEN/BEYOND BORDERS, Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum (premier exhibition), Santa Barbara, CA.
1995
SCISSORS, PAPER, STONE: NINE WOMEN WORKING, Santa Maria Museum Art Center, CA.
1995
VERDE QUE TE QUIERO VERDE, a joint exhibition of artists from Spain and the United States, California State University Long Beach. Curator/Catalogue, John de Heras.
1995
FLORA: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AND THE WORLD OF FLOWERS, curated by Thomas H. Garver, for Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, traveling to Art Museum of the Southeast Texas, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Gibbes Museum, NC, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, TN. Catalogue: Thomas H. Garver.
1994
JUST FRIENDS, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley. Curator Luis Garcia.
Ro Snell Gallery, selected Antidote Drawings, Santa Barbara, CA.
ROMANTIC MODERNISM, Santa Fe Museum of Art, one work exhibited concurrent with main exhibition, curated Sandy Ballatore.
1993
THE SACRED IN THE ARTS, Synod Hall, The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York City, NY.
EXCELLENCE HAS NO GENDER, Barbara Warwick Gallery, Seattle, WA.
1992
ARTE ACTUAL DE LOS ANGELES Obras sobre Papel, 31 Artistas-Profesores Californianos. Departmento de Didactica de la Expresion Plastica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
1992
AN ISSUE OF WATER, Donna Beam Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Catalogue, Director Jerry A. Schefck.
DREAMS AND SHIELDS, Spiritual Dimensions in Contemporary Art, Salt Lake Art Center, Utah. Catalogue/Curator, Frank McEntire.
1991
CHALLENGING MYTHS - FIVE ARTISTS, Bakersfield Art Museum. Curator, Heather S. Lineberry. Bakersfield, CA.
SANTA BARBARA ARTISTS I, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, SB, CA.
TREES, Warwick Gallery, Seattle, WA.
FACULTY EXHIBITION, UCSB Museum, Santa Barbara, CA.
1990
MEMORY - Kevin Beer, Ciel Bergman, Terry Robertson, Masako Takahadshi. Totoro Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
CULTURAL IMPERATIVES IN THE ECOLOGICAL AGE, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, IL.
ON PAPER GALLERY II, MAN AND NATURE, a communication for peace, with an appreciation by Paul Winter. The second in a thematically linked book of postcards, mailed worldwide. Published in Tokyo, Japan. Invitational.
1990
GARBARE OUT FRONT, A NEW ERA OF PUBLIC DESIGN, The New York City Municipal Art Society. Curator, Mierle Laderman Ukeles.
1989
REVELATIONS - THE TRANSFORMATIVE IMPULSE IN RECENT ART, Aspen Art Museum, CO. Curator David Floria. Catalogue, John Perreault.
BOLD STROKES AND QUIET GESTURES: 20th CENTURY WORKS ON PAPER, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, SB, CA.
FACULTY EXHIBITION, University Art Museum, UCSB, CA.
PRIVATE RESERVE: IMPORTANT WORK BY ARTISTS REPRESENTED BY THE GALLERY, Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
1988
PASSAGES: A SURVEY OF CALIFORNIA WOMEN ARTISTS, 1945 TO THE PRESENT, THE YEARS OF PASSAGE: 1969-1975. Fresno Art Center and Museum. Curator, Kathryn Funk. Fresno, CA.
1987
DIVERSITY AND PRESENCE, WOMEN ARTIST FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, travel to 6 campuses. Curator, Kathryn Diage Warren.
1986
WOMEN'S SENSIBILITIES - National Juried Exhibition, WARM Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. Invitational. Curators: Tillie Olsen, Betsy Damon and Julie Yanson.
1985
A CITY COLLECTS, Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, CA.
X-CHANGE, CELEBRATING ART MADE OUT-OF-THE-MAINSTREAM, traveling; Anchorage, Alaska and Moscow, Idaho. Curator, Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum.
NEW DIRECTIONS / CALIFORNIA paintings 1985, Visual Arts Center, Anchorage, Alaska. Curator, Pamela Hammond.
1985
UCSB ART FACULTY EXHIBITION, University Museum, Santa Barbara, CA.
D'ANNUNZIO PROJECT, collaboration with 16 painter / sculptors, Oranges & Sardines, Los Angeles, CA.
1985
BIENNALE DES FRIEDENS, Skulpturen, Bilder, Mailart, Video, Akustische Objekte, Installationen. Kunsthaus und Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany.
1984
TO THE ASTONISHING HORIZON, Los Angeles Design Center, LA, CA. Curator, Peter Frank.
FROM AVERY TO ZUBURAN - A NEW VIEW OF THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, Santa Barbara Museum of Art. CA.
SANTA BARBARA LANDSCAPE, College of Creative Studies, UCSB.
WATERCOLOR: A CONTEMPORARY SURVEY, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.
1983
NATIONAL INVITATIONAL, University of Hawaii, Hilo, Hawaii.
BY THE SEA, paintings & SCULPTURES BY INVITED ARTISTS, Meredith Niles Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.
HISTORY paintings TODAY, Ian Birksted Gallery, London England.
OF THIS TIME, OF THAT PLACE, Open Space Gallery. Curator, Mary Hicks. Victoria, British Columbia.
NATIONAL WATERCOLOR INVITATIONAL, University of Wisconsin.
1982
FRESH PAINT - 15 CALIFORNIA ARTISTS, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco, CA. Curator, George W. Neubert.
1981
WORK ON PAPER, Ian Birksted Gallery, London, England.
SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE ALUMNI EXHIBITION, throughout city.
1980
WORK ON PAPER, Ian Birksted Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
1979
LITHOGRAPHS, Impressions Gallery, Boston, MA.
CHROMA, Cedar / Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.
SANTA BARBARA ARTISTS, Invitational, CAF, Santa Barbara, CA.
1978
Abstract Drawing, Baum / Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
VARIOUS DIRECTIONS, Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
1977
CRIMES OF PASSION, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
THREE CALIFORNIA ARTISTS, Florida Institute of Technology, Orlando, FL.
1976
VISITING ARTISTS, Worth Ryder Gallery, UCB, Berkeley, CA.
OAKAND '76, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA.
18 BAY AREA ARTISTS, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. Catalogue.
THREE BAY AREA ARTISTS, Art Museum, UC Riverside. Curator, Kirk deGooyer. Catalogue essay, Mary Stofflet.
1975
WHITNEY BIENNIAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN paintings AND SCULPTURE, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY.
BOWERS, GONZALES, VOULKOS, Smith-Anderson Gallery, Palo Alto, CA.
INTERSTICES, San Jose Museum of Art.
KQED Art Auction (juried) Crown Zellerbach, San Francisco, CA.
1974
ACHENBACH INVITATIONAL DRAWING SHOW, Palace of The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA.
1974
DRAWINGS FROM THE GALLERY, Malvina Miller Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
BLACK & WHITE: A DRAWING SHOW, San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, Capricorn Asunder, San Francisco, CA.
MFA EXHIBITION, San Francisco Art Institute, CA.
1973
TOYS BY ARTISTS, New Museum of Modern Art, Oakland, CA.
John Doyle Galley, Chicago, IL.
WOMEN FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, University Art Museum, UCB.
CHRISTMAS SHOW, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF, CA.
RECENT ACQUISITIONS, University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA.
1973
DAVIDSON NATIONAL PRINT & DRAWING COMPETITION, N. Carolina. Juror, Clement Greenberg.
NATIONAL DRAWING COMPETITION, New York. Juror, Larry Rivers.
LITHOGRAPHS, KIKO GALLERY, HOUSTON, TX.
1972
NINTH ANNUAL SMALL DRAWING & SCULPTURE EXHIBITION, Bellingham, WA. Juror, Dr. Peter Selz.
1971
KQED COMPETITION, John Bolles Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
1969
INVITATIONAL, Award, Jack London Group Show, Oakland, CA.

AWARDS / COMMISSIONS:
1989
(Commission) THE WATERFALL, a ceramic tile amphitheater. Installed August 1990 at Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara. In collaboration with Sheldon Kaganoff.
1988
Fellowship, Vermont Art School and Studio Colony.
1987
Invited to Submit for an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award.
1986
(Commission) The BRIDGE, a mural scale installation, 2 & 3D ceramic, stone and lead sculptural, free standing objects. Installed at Gildea Environmental Resource Center, SB, CA.
1980
LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY AWARD, painting.
1975
SOCIETY FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE CREATIVE ARTS AWARD, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (SECA)
1972
Tamarind Lithographic Institute Artists Fellowship, Albuquerque, NM.
1972
Graduate Honors, San Francisco Art Institute.
1969
First Place (painting) Jack London Invitational.
1950
Drawing selected for the cover of the Graduation Program, sixth grade. Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Berkeley, CA.

Art Critic Reviews:

"...in her unfashionable search for beauty in art, Bergman renounced what she considers the mainstream of modern art as exemplified by Duchamp's denigration of painting and set out to oppose this trend with an intimate relationship to the beauty of nature. She discovered, however, that the basic elements of air, earth and water had been poisoned. The title of her ongoing series of paintings, "Antidotes," signifies her deep concern about the destruction of the planet and her belief in art's potential as a healing agent.

Bergman's semi-abstract paintings can be read as allegories of a gentler world. Swimming through soft veils of light and a luminous ether, the images which she often introduces into the picture space can suggest shells, leaves, stalks of grass, flowers and their petals. When these forms become too well-defined, however, the paintings lose a bit of their elusive mystery. In some of the finest works, Bergman deploys dark rectilinear bars that locate the surface of the painting, giving a sense of pictorial structure to her lyrical compositions."

• -- Peter Selz, Art in America

"...the dark, seductive, moody and potentially violent flowers of Ciel Bergman reveals areas of the female psyche that I've heard about but I have never before experienced. Her landscapes...with or without flowers--are memorable for their fluid pastel colors and strong composition... Here is an artist on a spiritual journey, which we're invited to join if we care to."

• -- Edwin Goldman, Art Talk

"[Ciel Bergman] Cheryl Bowers has clearly taken her place with such established California painters as William Wiley, Fred Marin, Jay de Feo, Allan, Brown, Smith, Hudson."

• -- Charles Shere, Oakland Tribune

"These are paintings of hope, celebrating the world's beauty while confronting its darkness. There are wounds here, laid bare so that they might be healed, but there is also peace, resolution... Flowers, specifically the iris, have been growing in Bergman's garden of imagery for some time now. But never have they been painted with such force, positioned so unashamedly and given such prominence. Bergman's irises flirt with botanical accuracy, a tendency she quickly undermines with a gestural brush stroke here, and absent detail there. With this latest copy of irises, Bergman forsakes a forced personal iconography for the multiple historical and spiritual sources which have charged this flower for millennia. As the feminine counterpart to the ancient God of the FAX (Mercury), the iris takes center stage because it must; its very presence heralds the arrival of news of great importance, although sometimes it speaks in tongues.

By bathing us in the light of these beautiful canvases, Bergman assures us that forgetfulness, at least, will be eliminated from our long list of excuses if and when nature is finally and irreversibly compromised. The work is a gentle but firm warning, turning our black and white world on its ear. It's a simple decision, really: life or death."

• -- Ben Marks, Artweek

"Ciel Bergman makes unabashedly beautiful paintings. Over the last decade, Bergman (formerly Cheryl Bowers) has come to be known on the West Coast as a painter's painter, an artist who relishes the medium, its lushness, liquid color and luminescence. Her penchant for coming up with surprising spacial oppositions, simultaneous views not linked in reality but in the mind, allows for shifting perceptions within one painting. Yet it is the gestalt of this that counts.

What Bergman chooses to paint is fueled by her commitment to a dialogue on critical ecological matters. This is not art about art, fashion, or entertainment. Her sources lie within the surrealist's dream, the romantic's intuition and dynamism, the classicist's sense of order and primarily the spiritualist's openness to forces that supersede individual fate.

In most of these recent paintings, collectively titled "Good Wild Sacred" (borrowed from poet Gary Snyder), the heroine is a flower, the iris, not unfamiliar in Bergman's previous work but here used with a full-blown force of personality. Bergman pulls it off because the choice is not based on the flower's decorative aspects but on its ancient metaphorical power as goddess, restorer of hope, antidote to madness.

The chameleon-like iris takes on several roles. In one painting, the blossom appears courageous, central, frontal, unfurling its petals like a proud ballerina poised before the dance of death--part enchantress, part priestess. In another work, the iris is a bud still wound tightly around itself, encasing its full promise, trembling and expectant.

In A Single Flower in the Ocean, we look at the iris with its ripples of light and peach-pink vapor. Here is nature teetering on the edge of losing its equilibrium. Two small orbs, one black, one white, hovering at either side of the blossom as though it were poised between destruction and discovery--and we ask, is this the last flower, the last of its kind? We take a deep breath and see ourselves inside this process that Bergman has spelled out for us, and we know that the earth cannot be pillaged without also destroying us."

• -- Pamela Hammond, ARTnews

 

SEA OF CLOUDS WHAT CAN I DO

"While creating the installation, SEA OF CLOUDS WHAT CAN I DO, I walked the beaches of Santa Barbara for many months with my sculptor friend Nancy Merrill, picking up waste plastic. It was as a result of witnessing the suffering of many beached, garroted and dying sea mammals, strangling in plastic, that the idea for this green technology came to me one morning before awakening, in May of 1986."

Ciel conceptualized and helped bring to market an asphalt mix called Plasphalt™. It is a combination of recycled plastic and asphalt that creates a stronger more resistant road material. The Plasphalt™ mix provides superior wear resistance and reduces maintenance costs. It's tough and durable, increasing rut and shoving resistance, yet requires no special handling or equipment. You can see the film online at Plasphalt Project.

Ocean As Being

OCEAN AS BEING (62x108") o/c with lead panel

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS:

Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art
Contemporary Arts Society of Great Britain
Fine Arts Museum of New Mexico
Museum of Modern Art (Eye Magazine)
Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA.
Orange County Museum of Art
Richard L. Nelson Fine Art Collection, UCD
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Auchenbach Foundation, Palace Legion of Honor
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.
The National Gallery, Washington D.C. (prints)
The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry
The University Art Museum, UCSB
University Art Museum, UCB
University of Washington, Bellingham
Whitney Museum of American Art (Eye Magazine)

CORPORATE COLLECTIONS:

Atlantic Richfield
Banco di Roma
Bank of America
Saks Fifth Avenue
Security Pacific National
The Capitol Group
The GAP

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS:

California, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Washington D.C., Belgium, England, Japan.

abiquiu workshop

Heart Interpreter in Nature
May 23rd – 27th, 2011

Ciel Bergman, Painter
Register Online

For more information or to register by phone, call 505.685.0921

Workshop Overview

As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century everything has changed but ourselves. From the beginning of Industrialization, nearly 150 years, we have dumped incalculable megatons of alien chemicals into our global life-support systems. We know today that the effect of this behavior is not sustainable.

Using guided visualizations and active imagination participants of this workshop will explore painting as an Offering of Service. Our objective will be to locate within each of us, a deep-listening memory of our ancient cellular connection to the natural world. Submerged in the beautiful and mysterious places around Abiquiu, we will work to “see through learned reality” and listen for inner guidance to become, as artists, instruments of healing and consciousness.

Your choice of medium: oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, and drawing materials.

Ciel Bergman Workshop