JENNIFER BAIN

Jennifer Bain was born in New York City into an artistic family. Attending The Rudolph Steiner School as a child was an instrumental influence. The School’s teaching methods are based on the Austrian Philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s (1861-1925) esoteric spiritual movement called anthroposophy. Embracing education through the arts along with a strong sense of spiritualism, seeded and embodied her artistic leanings.

In pursuit of a creative, yet practical career, she earned an A.A. degree in Fashion Design and worked successfully in that field until a devastating illness struck (Legionnaires’ disease) in which she nearly lost her life. After a period of recovery, she returned to art school receiving a B.F.A. from The California College of the Arts in 1981 and a M.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.

The artist has been represented in prestigious contemporary galleries throughout the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Memphis, Sun Valley Idaho, Denver, San Francisco, and Scottsdale. Her work is in private and corporate collections nationally and globally, including Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia, as well as many important 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 American Art in the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program on two occasions in 2005 and 2009 in Cameroon and Myanmar respectfully.

Jennifer has dedicated her practice to paint in series, usually spanning five to ten years, employing different styles of painting based on the content of the work, which has spanned the narrative to the abstract.

After living in the San Francisco Bay area for many years she relocated to Santa Fe New Mexico in 2016 after the death of her husband.

Jennifer Bain

STATEMENT

In my paintings, I create abstract compositional grounds with gestural, chromatically layered surfaces and geometric forms, against which I juxtapose realistic renderings of brightly colored birds. I combine abstraction with bird imagery to symbolically represent ideas such as freedom vs structure, while alluding to concepts like adaptability and transition.

Bird imagery exists geographically and historically as part of many cultures, religions, and traditions. Widely regarded as symbols of freedom due to their ability to soar into the skies, in art birds represent a range of concepts including freedom, nobility, fertility, and bravery. Some cultures consider birds to be messengers of the gods, because they traverse the realms of air, sea and land, flying into the heavens and returning to earth—abilities few other creatures can claim. In many Native American cultures, birds are associated with the creation of the world.

The notion of bird flight signifies breaking free of what binds us to our negative patterns; breaking from these patterns is analogous to soaring the skies. The birds in Bain’s work illustrate the metaphor of striving above our rooted ideas of self, the world, and the “other”, expressing her interest in spirituality and in transcending fixed perceptions of consciousness. The birds themselves sit in still perched postures. Away from flight, they display expressions of thought, gazing at us silently, asking us to interpret.

I’ve reframed birds’ centuries-old associations in abstract compositions to reintroduce these ideas in a contemporary context. In my paintings, birds represent the possibility of elevating consciousness to become free, uniting the concrete world with the world of the spirit.