Seamus Berkeley: In This Very Moment
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 6th, 5-7pm
Brief introduction to the show by the artist promptly at 5pm
I have always greatly admired painters who can capture the entire atmosphere of a moment. Seamus Berkeley does just that; after spending time, sometimes weeks in an environment, such as Abiquiu, he composes wonderful slices of light and temperature and view.
I am honored to have and share his work at magpie. There will be a participatory element for this show with the audience by requesting a written reaction from viewers. In a recent statement about this show, Berkeley states: “So this is the experiment: Can these paintings be created with the intention both of remembering the temporal nature of this moment and existence and also serve as a reminder for the viewer with the intent to evoke a moment of awe or pondering?”
Seamus Berkeley is an immigrant from Dublin, Ireland. His family moved from Ireland to Canada and moved many times before settling in New England. Perhaps it was these early experiences that contributed to his lifelong practice of seeking out new vistas and observing the outer and inner landscape them carefully. He has found that words are limited in expressing his observations and finds painting to be a much closer representation his experiences of fascination with beauty and awe that he sees. These observations lead him to ponder his existence and nature, which evoke a sense of serenity and deep solace. His intention with creating the paintings is that a person viewing his work may be reminded of the eternal beauty of nature and share a similar sense of contentment. A lifelong student of psychology, Berkeley has always been fascinated by people; his interest in human habits and personalities allows him the space to become familiar with a person before painting him or her; this intention to perceive a person has helped him to garner an acute awareness of a person’s individuality when setting out to paint a portrait.
In 2012 Berkeley initiated a unique portrait project with Family House Inc. of San Francisco, and he has deeply enjoyed expanding the reaches of his art for social, familial purposes beyond what he previously imagined possible. (Please see his News or Projects pages at seamusberkeley.com for more info). Berkeley has won several regional and national awards for his artwork, including Best Portrait at the Oil Painters of America show in 2000. He is the founder and past-president of the Taos Society of Portrait Artists and a member of the Oil Painters of America.
Berkeley’s work has been featured in such publications as Southwest Art, Information Warehouse, The Taos News (recently as the cover artist for Taos Aglow), Art-Talk and The Trail-Gazette. He has traveled worldwide to study first-hand the works of master painters. Some of Berkeley’s influences include Charles Cross, Nancy Guzik, Quang Ho, David Lefel, Ron Sherr, Richard Schmid and Teresa Vito.