S.P. in Moravia, 1995, pastel and oilstick, 30”x22”
Polyn: Topf, 2000, pastel and oilstick, 59.75” x 41.25”
Creeley with Masoretic Notes, 1999, pastel /oilstick, 39.5”x27.75”
Levi: Lamentation, 2000, pastel /oilstick, 39.5”x 27.75”
Federman: Kol Nidre Elegy, 1999, oilstick, 30” x 22”
The characters in Breverman’s drawings are like walking through a “Who’s Who” of notable 20th century figures. Tom Wolfe, Jim Dine, Allen Ginsberg, Federman, Creeley, and many other artists, poets, and “thinkers” populate images constructed with compound meanings and associations. For Breverman, these are his personal friends and also his inspiration and outlet for the deep feelings that he possesses for things of significant import. It is, perhaps, because of this love of the fineness possible in humanity (as in the sensitivity of exquisite poetry), that Breverman presents in contradiction images that reveal the more repugnant side of human potential. In the Nightworks Series, Breverman explores his Jewish heritage with a faithful eye on the residual impression that human oppression has left on the course of humanity. The floor plans and elevations of now-extinct Polish prisons serve as the structural underpinning for lamentations of the inhumanity expressed in their function. When combined with a vignette portrait, the subject’s countenance is embellished and amplified through the accompanying array of symbolic elements. This juxtaposition of the historical and the contemporary sustains a transcendent sense of connectedness between times, between peoples, between cultures. Though exquisitely beautiful in surface and design, these works are nonetheless penetrating in their sober reflections and pathos.
Working with drawing media in an experimental and improvisational manner (even cow markers find their place), he weaves symbols from archaic texts into images of place and person. Breverman has developed elaborate techniques of stenciling, oil transfer, and modified viscosity methods in obtaining the layered textures in his drawings. He values the native properties and feel of hand-made papers. In fact, he has collected quite a store of them, precious in their own right for the aesthetic pleasure derived from their material presence.
“21st Century Illuminations: The Nightworks Series centers on the human circumstance, particularized by the figure in all its frailty and grandeur,” explains Breverman. “A surround of idiosyncratic fragments and cryptic jottings wrenched out of context, reflect my own actual or imagined ‘wanderings and ruminations.’”
“Ancient synagogue ground plans and elevations, medieval manuscript and Masoretic texts, micrographic ornamentation, zoomorphic inscriptions, folkloric symbols and religious ritual artifacts, connected or disparate, collide and intersect in shallow spaces, suggesting ambiguity and contradiction.”
“As formal language, The Nightworks are a melange of ‘composite’ images that couple complex spatial configurations with multi-layered surface improvisation. It is hoped that my images evoke a compelling ‘psychological edge’ while aesthetically challenging attitudes and feelings.”
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon and Ohio Universities, Breverman has exhibited in New York, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Paris, Bologna, Moscow, Basel, Barcelona, Cracow, Belgrad, Rome, Milan, Vienna, Honolulu, Tokyo, Caracas and Rio de Janeiro. He has had eighty-seven solo exhibitions. His works are in the collections of MoMA, the Metropolitan, the Whitney and The Jewish Museum, New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Library of Congress, The British Museum, and the Israel Museum. He received grants and awards from the Tiffany Foundation (1962), the Netherlands Government (1965), NYSCA-CAPS (1972), The National Endowment for the Arts (1974, 1980), and the American Academy/ National Institute of Arts and Letters (1980,19981). He has participated in International Print Biennials literally around the world. A recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association, he was appointed to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University of Buffalo (NY, 1999).
Polyn: Sanok, 2000, pastel and oilstick, 60.25” x 41.25”
Contemplating Sarajevo I, 2003, pastel, 31” x 23”
Fiedler in Pont Aven, 1995, oilbar, pastel on paper,39.5 x 27.75”