DeWitt Cheng — May 23, 2016
Conflicts between warring aesthetic philosophies recur repeatedly art history, with only the battle flags changing with the times: ideal vs realistic, classic vs romantic, flatness vs spatiality, conceptual vs ‘retinal’ (to use Duchamp’s clever putdown). The newest battlefield might be between traditional media, with its emphasis on craft and the personal touch, and digital media, with its seemingly easy perfection and infinite capacity for multiplication. That this dichotomy will eventually vanish, is inevitable. The new sculptural work of Jud Bergeron, “From Analog to Digital and Back Again” (the title hints of Hobbit adventure and return), declares that the issue is easily resolved through compromise and collaboration — as will become evident to all in the fullness of time.
Bergeron’s new abstract sculptures are made up of polygonal or crystalline formations — origami also comes to mind — sitting atop small rectangular pllinths. The artist composes the forms by airbrushing heavy paper with bright colors and cutting out irregular triangles and other polyhedrons, which he tapes together intuitively, without preconceptions along their congruent edges. The faceted composite forms of the paper originals resemble Cubist portrait heads, though adorned with a very bright, un-Cubist, Easter-egg palette; the similarly designed wall relief pieces suggest very simplified blocky topographic maps of ridges, planes and crevasses. The forms worked out, Bergeron scans the hand-built models and prints 3D duplicates which are used for casting the final sculptures in bronze or pigmented white fiberglass resin, reminiscent of polished marble or plaster. The monochrome pieces suggest mass and metamorphosis — portraits, mountains, and so on. The colored works are dematerialized and lighter in affect, almost floral — even “Demon Dog,” with its unmistakeable snout and ears.