“I create abstract compositional grounds with gestural, chromatically layered surfaces and geometric forms, against which I juxtapose realistic renderings of birds. I combine abstraction with bird imagery to symbolically represent ideas such as freedom versus structure.”
Jennifer Bain is a painter interested in spirituality, nature, and the relationships between these themes and contemporary art. The artist was introduced to the concept of art as a spiritual practice by attending The Rudolph Steiner School in New York City. The school embraces education through the arts, strongly emphasizing mystic ideology.
Wanting a practical yet creative profession she earned an A.A. degree in Fashion Design and worked successfully in that field, but yearned for more creative expression. Returning to school she earned a B.F.A. from The California College of the Arts in 1982 and a M.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.
The artist spent ten years living "underground" in an old paint factory which introduced her to a vivid life full of artists, musicians, dancers, playwrights, and street performers. She participated in many group shows in nonprofit spaces during this time.
Jennifer has been a full-time artist since 1994. She has dedicated her practice to painting in series, employing different styles of painting based on the content of the work, which has spanned from the abstract to the narrative.
The artist has been represented in prestigious contemporary galleries throughout the U.S., Asia, and the Middle East. Her work is in private and corporate collections and places of healing such as The Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, UCLA, San Francisco General, and Stanford University Hospitals. She was honored to represent the USA in Art in Embassies program twice in 2005 and 2009.
“Jennifer Bain's acrylic paintings skillfully blend rich textures and intricate layering, fusing elements of abstraction and realism. They feature a harmonious mix of bold, vibrant colors and alluring pastels, resulting in a captivating artistic experience.
The artist’s portfolio features a striking juxtaposition of abstract elements coalescing with realistic motifs, most notably the presence of various bird species. Birds, an enduring motif in art history, carry multifaceted symbolisms, ranging from representations of freedom and transcendence to nobility and fertility. With roots that transcend cultural and geographical boundaries, these avian creatures have historically served as messengers of the divine and emblems of humanity's innate yearning for flight. In this context, Jennifer Bain's incorporation of bird portraits infuses her compositions with spiritual depth, enabling the viewer to establish a poignant connection with the extensive legacy of avian symbolism.
The background textures on these pieces are equally interesting. They remind you of weathered, layered city walls covered in posters, or graffiti, from years gone by. This creates a sense of history and transformation. Even though they bear the weight of multiple layers, these textures bestow the paintings with a serene and contemplative ambiance. The intricate, subtle details interwoven throughout the artwork provide a sense of rhythm and draw the observer deeper into the piece, resulting in an elegant and genuinely unique form of abstract art.
Jennifer Bain's multilayered and mesmerizing works exude a youthful and fresh energy, offering a powerful fusion of the abstract and the representational. Well-worked textures, captivating forms and evocative symbols offer a tranquil yet thought-provoking space for contemplation and appreciation. Jennifer's work is undoubtedly accomplished and well-deserving of recognition in the contemporary art scene.”
- Myrina Tunberg Georgiou, Circle Foundation
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist