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Artsbridge Update

Bernard Ungerleider

Artsbridge Says Goodbye to Another Member and Artist

Just before the retrospective show of Bernard Ungerleider at the Riverrun Gallery, Barbara Swanda had the opportunity to speak to the local artist about his work. His thoughts about painting were captured so timely before his recent passing. Barbara Swanda wrote eloquently about the life of Bernard:

Ungerleider is one of the painters intertwined with Bucks County art over the past three decades, a period rich with names like Foltinsbee, Butterfield, Nye, Autorino, Snyder and Douglass, to cite just a few. In fact, it was the area portrait painter Nelson Shanks that directed him to study color with painter Henry Hensche in Cape Cod.

The career of Bernard Ungerleider is the story of the business professional that chucks it all to follow his love of painting. It is the story of the graduate engineer and business owner who attended classes at the Art Students League in New York, and decided to follow his passion and commit his life to art. This journey, undertaken in 1969, took him from Bucks County to Italy in the 70’s, and back to Lambertville, NJ where he resided until his recent death. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else when I came back from Europe.” Said Ungerleider, “The Delaware Valley is just as beautiful as over there.”

Like many artists, Ungerleider feels art is a process, and his finished paintings mean little to him compared with the excitement he finds in the doing. His purpose is that of a painter who works only from life, to study and master the effects of light. “I am not good at making things up” he says, “I have to study it.” It is a career of perpetual searching.

The show highlights a broad range of subjects from Ungerleider’s brush landscapes, portraits, nudes, as well as images from some of the painters that have joined him in the model sessions held in his Bridge St. studio, including Ira Bass, Robert Beck, Gail Bracegirdle, Gordon Haas, Agis Kydonies, Lisa Mahan, Pat Martin, Paul Matthews, Simon Mauer, John Meggitt, Shirley Mersky, Heather O’Connor, Marc Reed, Michelle Reed, Steve Smith, George Thompson, Patrick Walsh, Charles Wieles and Valene Ziegler.

This exhibit is a visit to the world of the dedicated Plein-air and figure painter. It is an assemblage of beautiful images created by a man who has committed more than 30 years wrestling with unknowns and ephemeral moments. It is the testament of a real painter.

A retrospective of the work of artist Bernard Ungerleider will be exhibited at Riverrun Gallery from September 13 to October 13, 2003. Select paintings spanning the career of this extraordinary Bucks County oil painter will be shown interspersed with pieces created by artists who have painted alongside Bernard in his studio sessions and plein-air painting trips. For information, call 609-397-3349

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Updated: November 25, 2004