About Bernard's work: multiple image technique

Man with Wounded Bird


As his art matured, Bernard developed what he called his "multiple image" technique, a unique style of drawing and painting.


To the left, from Man with Wounded Bird, 1958.

In his words:


We never really see a person in static form. We remember them in a multiple image. I am attempting to show this difference in time, to get an intellectual depth rather than the depth of a draftsman. The idea of painting pictures with multiple images first came through drawing and correcting. Part of the plan is to create intrigue and excitement. Things tend to be dull when they are static. Here one’s curiosity is aroused. What is occurring?


He goes on:



Sometimes one image will dominate then another will come forward and take over. Sometimes I discover these images as I am painting and capitalize on them, I discover as I go along that these things can be developed. I am trying to develop a sense of dimension and depth that I feel is there – an illusion of depth.


Additionally, according to a review of his one-man show in 1967:


While this technique of washes may appear modern, the sepia figures seem to come right out of a Leonardo da Vinci sketch books. And the languid poses and poetically detached figures are pure Botticelli. Riley’s figures have been given multiple faces and bodies that give them a new dimension – the third.

Above, from Procession, 1968.

Multiple image technique in practice

From The Willow Garden.

From The Willow Garden.

From Man with Wounded Bird.

From man with Wounded Bird.

From St. Francis and the Woman Possessed by the Devil.

From St. Francis and the Woman Possessed by the Devil.