AMM Q & A with Nancy Bergman Pantirer
Q: What is your latest series of work about?
A: In my latest series of work called “Hidden Agenda”, I utilize ultra violet light with a combination of phosphorescent paint, fluorescent paint and luminescent paint. This combination allows me to create work with veiled layers that aren’t visible in incandescent light. Hidden Agenda offers abstract minimalism, transforming a flat picture plane of work into an illusionist dimensional composition. I enjoy playing with the element of surprise and a major factor necessary to the success of the paintings altered state is full control of lighting. The result of being able to orchestrate the light is a cognitive, immersive experience. Spectators become indirect participants in the creative process while work transforms in a timed sequence. Phaedrus, a character in one of Platos dialogue shares, “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” My goal is to challenge viewers preconceived thoughts based off their recalled memory and then flip it.
Q: How does light factor into your work?
A: Light plays a very imperative role as it is necessary in order to view a composition. Light enables one to witness the multifaceted properties of color and form. I use a combination of incandescent light and ultra violet light. Specific paints like fluorescent paint and luminescent paint relay on ultra violet exposure. Ultra violet emits long-wave frequencies that are just outside the range humans can perceive. These specific paints contain a substance known as phosphors that once hit with UV waves fluoresce and radiant intense color. This technique of utilizing two different light sources allows me to manipulate and impose on the surface of my canvas therefore creating the illusion that my work although flat has dimension. The result of the lights changing from incandescent light to ultra violet light alters viewers emotional response to the painting leading them to question their first initial thoughts.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your paintings?
A: I am a big materialist and collect all sorts of odds and ends. I draw inspiration from the materials themselves. Every thing that surrounds me becomes a tool that I can incorporate within my work. The process is a continuous investigation that feeds itself.
Q: How long does it take for you to complete a piece?
A: There is no real definitive amount of time it takes to complete a painting. Every painting requires me to be fully immersed no matter the scale. It can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When I have come to a point where I am unsure of where my composition is going I simply put it away. I Let it pickle; as one of my past mentors, Kikuo Saito would say . I have gone back into a painting after months; even after a year. Doing this allows me to view my work with fresh eyes.
Q: Were you always a painter?
A: Wow, honestly, I have been painting ever since I can remember. I must say I was blessed to have an amazing and supportive mother. She allowed me to paint the walls of my bedroom not limiting me to when or what I painted. When it got to a point where the walls were busy she’d help me by repainting the walls white again and letting me begin anew. This played a massive role in my life as this helped me to comprehend what my passions were. It’s also one of the reasons i’m comfortable painting on a grand scale now. With all the positive responses and support of friends and family I realized the impact of what art can do. It was one of my ways of communicating.
Nancy Bergman Pantirer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, as well a Master of Arts from Montclair State College. She further refined her craft through graduate coursework at Tufts University Museum School in Boston and Pratt University in New York. Her paintings and sculpture have been exhibited throughout the country and can be found in collections such as the National Arts Club in NYC, as well as in corporate and private collections. Her studio is located in Tribeca in NYC.
“Grand scale paintings are one my specialties. I find that within a large scale I become one with the painting, I am fully immersed with every stroke and gesture. My work is primarily an investigation in visual thinking, The relationships of color, surface, composition, as well as experience, are addressed in the exercise of creating each painting. The work is involved with the possibilities and properties of the materials. The medium is mostly acrylic, polymer matte and canvas, and sometimes found materials…Every piece is an accumulation of experiences encountered in the process of doing. Paint enables color to define space and create its own presence. This dynamic is the most involved passionate ongoing dialogue that I pursue in my studio work. My commitment is to keep the work as forward, honest and unencumbered by the burden of current art themes and styles. I am a New York based artist with my studio located in the heart of TriBeCa. I paint because it offers me a vision into the pure examination of visual principles and enables me to engage in thinking as process. It is this visceral and passionate experience that keeps the work fresh and exciting for me as an artist. My most recent work deals with what makes an experience memorable, Hidden Agenda series. Hidden Agenda Series consist of a pure investigation of fluorescent and phosphorescent paint. This series brings to the art world, surprise, suspense and a theatrical experience and to spectators, work that is successful in divergent illuminations. The variables in this investigation are color, arrangements, rearrangements and lighting that offers the viewer a new visual understanding.” Nancy Bergman Pantirer