At the precise moment of awakening from sleep —before eyes fully open—a fragment of a dream appears. This fragment is often ambiguous but sometimes familiar, and it offers innumerable symbols and stories. This is the seed of Barbara Brenner's work; the captured images of an awakening from the dream.
In her studio, with heated, pigmented wax, the images begin their evolution. Holding pots of hot wax, Brenner pours onto a wooden support, and a flood of information is discovered, sometimes quickly, but more often slowly, through this process of intentionality and simultaneous release. The molten materials react, merge, fight, and finally coalesce into an implied narrative.
It is through this innovative use of encaustic that Brenner extends and links herself to the language of Color Field Painting, stated so beautifully in the work of Frankenthaler, Louis, Rothko and now Brenner.
Brenner’s works offer the actualization of emergence; engaging us from a distance, drawing us closer as we seek more visual and tactical information. What was once simply the depth and luminescence of hot wax becomes a reference of narrative: a spiny sea shell rolling in the surf; spermatozoa searching for ovum; or an old man blowing smoke rings in a pub.
This is a collection of inherited potentials arrived at through a process, both unconsciously and specific, creating a narrative ambiguous and familiar, offering innumerable symbols and stories; the captured images of an awakening from the dream.