HIGHLIGHTS
ALL (CHRONOLOGICAL)
ALL (ALPHABETICAL)

PUBLIC ART

ABOUT THE DAVID BERMANT FOUNDATION


David Bermant featured in A Sense of Place: Public Art in Santa Barbara

The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion was established in 1986 to encourage and advocate experimental visual art which draws its form, content and working materials from late twentieth-century technology.

Founded by David W. Bermant, who began to build in 1965 a collection that has become the pre-eminent private assemblage of work from this genre, the Foundation is devoted to fostering the efforts of artists working with non- traditional materials. These materials include physical sources of energy, light and sound, which are used in works that question and extend the boundaries of the visual arts.

Governed by a board consisting of a majority of working professional artists, the Foundation seeks also to cultivate public awareness of and appreciation for the synthesis of fine art and technology by supporting both those artists and institutions involved in the presentation, study, commission, collection or exhibition of such work.

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David Bermant was a longtime good friend of mine as well as my son-in-law. We agreed and also disagreed on various points of philosophy as well as art. Mostly we agreed, and when we didn't we needled each other mercilessly and laughed a lot. The man's sense of humor seldom left him.

David's two great interests were building shopping centers -- which he did with enthusiasm and success both on the East Coast and in California -- and collecting art. The art dealer to his heart was of a technological nature. The title of one of the several major shows he sponsored, PULSE (People Using Light, Sound, and Energy), is a clue to the sort of unique work he felt was the art pertinent to our time. It was art that utilized modern science and technology and did something other than hang on a wall or stand on a pedestal. And he felt that such art should be shown in public places, not just in museums and galleries.

Many pieces from his extensive collection are on loan or contributed as gifts to the City of Santa Barbara and to UCSB. At the airport, in the County Building, in the main library, in public schools, and at several locations on our beaches could be seen examples of his unusual, colorful, moving art pieces. To make sure the art form he loved should continue to flourish beyond his lifetime, he established and funded the David W. Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion.

David was born in New York City, grew up in Manhattan, and, at 21, graduated cum laude from Yale University. Six months later, in January 1941, he volunteered to join the U.S. Army. Starting as a private, he ended his army career as a major of artillery in Patton's Third Army, earning a bronze star with an oak leaf cluster for his actions. In 1947, he married Ruth Jesephson and they had four children: Ann, Jeffrey, Wendy, and Andrew. After 46 years, they were divorced. David then married Susan Hopmans and they established a home in Santa Barbara as well as in the Santa Ynez valley. Here he created facilities for and maintained a large collection of the art he felt was so significant.

I knew David Bermant as a man who had a great capacity for enjoying the material as well as the aesthetic pleasures of life. A connoisseur of food and wine, he once flew to Paris to participate in a special gourmet event and flew back within 24 hours. He delighted in fine cigars until he realized that good health would be an even greater pleasure.

David could be tough when circumstances required, but his sense of humor was never absent. Even during his terminal illness, he was able to make wry jokes about the situation. A vital part of his personal philosophy came from discussions he had had with a Yale professor he admired, F.S.C. Northrop. They pondered the big questions of what is "right," what is "wrong," and what is "truth." In a letter summarizing the conclusions he reached, he wrote to me: "I think one can find truth for one's time. One can find right and wrong for one's time. Maybe none of these are eternal, but they are to be found. I'm going to try to seek out the truth as long as I live and always tell the truth as long as I live, not only to others but mostly to myself. I will never lie."

Staying true to that difficult agenda may well be a bit part of the reason for his long, happy, and successful life.

By Walt Hopmans

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Forty-five years ago, F.S.C. Northrop, Sterling Professor (Emeritus) of Philosophy and Jurisprudence of Yale University, convinced me, as well as others, that the most vital art of one's time was that art which incorporated the underlying reality of the world as discovered by the science of one's time.

This reality, as revealed by science and verified by experiment, has primary concepts or principles. Philosophy formulates these primary principles into a metaphysical system. This system's intellectual concepts, understandable but to a few, is converted by religion and art into concrete symbols which convey emotion and feeling to everyone.

For example, Aristotle's discovery of the foundation of biological organization was incorporated centuries later by St. Thomas of Acquinas into a metaphysical system which became the basic principles of Catholicism. These principles were clothed by Catholic religion and the art inspired by it into emotion-filled symbols and metaphors.

The primary concept, or underlying reality, of the science of our day is Relativity. Einstein added the fourth dimension to those of Newtonian physics: time. Therefore, the art of our day that incorporates time, or movement, motion, change, is the most vital of all the arts being created. It is the art of our time which will endure.

DAVID WILLIAM BERMANT

David and his wife Susan at their home in Santa Barbara

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bess Rochlitzer (Chairman of the Board)

Robert Margolies

Andrew Bermant

Victoria Vesna (Art Advisor)

Sandy Hopmans

Jack Collison Legal Counsel

Residency 2014

Christiane Paul

Karen Moss

David Familian


2015

George Quasha

Susan Quasha

Annually, 1-3 art historians, artists and writers are invited to spend time in residence at the foundation's collection to study the work and access the foundation archives

FOUNDATION GRANTS

HIGHLIGHTS
ALL (CHRONOLOGICAL)
The Bermant foundation nurtures long term relationships with non-profit arts organizations and artists, and most of our grants are given by recommendation.
2014
UCLA Art|Sci Center, Los Angeles CA
The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation (MOXI), Santa Barbara CA
Allison Holt, Fractured Atlas, New York, NY
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, ZERO: Abstraction, Interaction and Internationalism, New York, NY
Harvestworks, Victoria Vesna’s Talking To Birds, New York, NY
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Projects for a New Millenium, erra Tractus: The Earth Moves, Stony Creek, CT
Vermont Studio Center, Residency Fellowships, Johnson, VT

2013
Orange County Museum of Art, Danial Nord’s 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Newport Beach, CA
Projects for a New Millenium, erra Tractus: The Earth Moves, Stony Creek, CT
Vermont Studio Center, Residency Fellowships, Johnson, VT
California Institute of the Arts, David Bermant Fellowship in Art & Technology, Valencia, CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Zion Dance Company, Art Without Limits, Santa Barbara CA
Harvestworks, Victoria Vesna x Siddharth Ramakrishnan, New York, NY
ISSUE Project Room, Tony Martin Retrospective, Brooklyn, NY

2012
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
California Institute of the Arts, David Bermant Fellowship in Art & Technology, Valencia, CA
Fishbon, Video Feedback: Pixel Behaviors, Santa Barbara CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Harvestworks, Victoria Vesna x Siddharth Ramakrishnan, New York, NY
2012
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Smithsonian Institution), Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color and Space, Washington, DC
New Museum, Ghosts in the Machine, New York, NY
Parabola Arts Foundation, Biyuu, New York, NY
Projects for a New Millenium, A Century of Making mUsic, Stony Creek, CT
The University of Maine Farmington (UMF Art Gallery, Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry), Liz Phillips’ Biyuu, Farmington, Maine
Vermont Studio Center, Residency Fellowships, Johnson, VT

2011
California Institute of the Arts, David Bermant Fellowship in Art & Technology, Valencia, CA
DramaDogs, a Theater Company, Everything is Prelude, Solvang, CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Harvestworks, Blue Morph & Waterbodies, New York, NY
Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT List Visual Arts Center), Otto Paine lightworks exhibit and Catalogue, Cambridge MA
Projects for a New Millenium, kinetic garden sculptures, Stony Creek, CT


2010 The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
California Institute of the Arts, David Bermant Fellowship in Art & Technology, Valencia, CA
DramaDogs, a Theater Company, Everything is Prelude, Solvang, CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Harvestworks, Blue Morph / Hox Zodiac / Water Bowls, New York, NY
Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens, Wind Through the Trees Sculpture, Devon, PA
Projects for a New Millenium, Branford LuminAqua, Stony Creek, CT
UCLA Department of Design|Media Arts, Los Angeles CA
Vermont Studio Center, Residency Fellowships, Johnson, VT

2009
Kristin Jones, Tevereterno, New York, NY
UCLA Art|Science Center, Los Angeles, CA
DramaDogs, a Theater Company, Santa Barbara, CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art (NMA), New Media: Why, Purchase, NY
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, The Future Imaginary, Los Angeles, CA

2008
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
California Institute of the Arts, David Bermant Fellowship in Art & Technology, Valencia, CA
DramaDogs, a Theater Company, STOOP, Solvang, CA
Everson Museum of Art, Tony Martin’s The Well, Syracuse, NY
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Mattress Factory, Hans Peter Kuhn installation, Pittsburgh, PA
Milwaukee Art Museum, Sensory Overload: Light, Motion and Sound and the Optical in Art since 1945, Milwaukee, WI
Projects for a New Millenium, Stony Creek, CT
Santa Barbara Cultural Development Foundation, Jean-Pierre Hébert’s Ulysses, Santa Barbara CA
Santa Barbara Dance Alliance (SBDA), Daughter of Zion Dance Company, Santa Barbara CA
Kristin Hones, Tevereterno, New York, NY
UCLA Art|Science Center, Blue Morph, Los Angeles CA
2007
DramaDogs, a THeater Company, Daughter of Zion Dance Company, Santa Barbara CA
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art (NMA), New Media: When, Purchase, NY
Sarasota Season of Sculpture, Dustin Schuler’s Dance, Sarasota, FL
The Candy Jernigan Foundation for the Arts, Tevereterno, New York, NY
The Studio: An Alternative Space for Comtemporary Art, Bruce Odland project, Armonk, NY
UCLA Design|Media Arts, The Bermant Student Gallery & Waterbowls, Los Angeles CA

2006
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
DramaDogs, a THeater Company, VISAGE, Santa Barbara CA
First Night in Austin, The Eye of Texas, Austin TX
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Grounds for Sculpture (Public Art Foundation, Inc), MomentuM: selections from the Kinetic Art Organization, Hamilton, NJ
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Dustin Shuler’s Rainforest: A Landscape in a Shower, Los Angeles CA
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art + Design, Infrasense, Los Angeles, CA
Parabola Arts Foundation, Architecturalized Sound Events: Acoustic Interactivity and Materialization, New York, NY
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, a division of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Inc, Artist of the Year Exhibit, Pittsburgh PA
Projects 2K (Projects for a New Millenium, Stony Creek CT
The Candy Jernigan Foundation for the Arts, Tevereterno, New York, NY
UCLA Department of Design|Media Arts, Los Angeles CA
2005
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Crane Country Day School, Santa Barbara CA
First Night Austin, Sally Weber’s Reflecting Thanks, Austin TX
The Mimi Garrard Dance Company, Videodances, New York, NY
Independent Curators International, New York, NY
Mattress Factory, New Installations, Artists in Residence: Cuba, Pittsburgh PA
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Otto Piene’s Electric Rose Cambridge MA
Pelham Art Center, Pelham, NY
Projects for a New Millenium, Terra Mirabila, Stony Creek CT
Daughter of Zion (Santa Barbara Dance Alliance), Santa Barbara, CA
Sarasota Season of Sculpture, Inc, Third International Sarasota Season of Sculpture Exhibition, Sarasota FL
The Candy Jernigan Foundation for the Arts Inc, Tevereterno, New York, NY
UCLA Department of Design|Media Arts, Los Angeles, CA


2004-1989
Coming Soon

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