ArtThrob Magazine, June 2012
Eyewitness: Walk Into My Heart(north shore art*throb) Marblehead artist Deborah Bohnert opens up her mind, memories, and studio to the public in her newest installation entitled "Walk Into My Heart."
Studio Visit, Volume Six 2009
The juror Michael Klein Independent Curator and Private Dealer
Artscope Magazine, November 2007
- Lush by James Foritano
.."they dialogue with their new painterly backgrounds as awed onlooker, rambunctious participant or perhaps as an escapee regarding wistfully the illusionist frames from which they've dared to emerge into a world of time and consequence."
The Boston Globe, November 2007
- Lush by Cate McQuaid
"This tangy, gorgeous, funny exhibit highlights the talents of two artists who spin froth out of nightmares. Bohnert positions found objects such as toys in front of abstract paintings, which are in themselves bright objects straddling childrens'-party pep and ragged decay. The pairings (as in "The Little Fruits#35a", right) are comic, provocative, and visually resonant."
Studio Visit, Volume Two 2008 (The Little Fruits)
- Carl Belz, Director Emeritus The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis for the Fall Edition of Studio Visit Magazine
- a new series of juried artist books published by "Open Studios Press"
Studio Visit Volume One 2007 (The Little Fruits)
The juror Michael Lash Museum and University Arts Consultant and former Director of Public Art for the City of Chicago.
by Ulrich Hägele:
- The visual method in the folk culture science. Bohnert's Color Series photo on the book cover as well.
Metro West Daily News September 13, 2007
- Multiple visions at the Danforth by Chris Bergeron
" Dorothea Lange once urged other photographers to "really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind." ...While there are many standouts, Bohnert's "Self-portrait Cut Out" series is playful and profound in equal measures. She photographs herself as a sort of paper doll accompanied by constructed cut-outs of outfits that raise interesting questions about gender, role playing and identity. In images like "Trendy and Bendy Debbie," she gazes into her own lens and the viewer in tights and frumpy hats as if to dare us to look and decide what we're really seeing. Lange, whose classic photo "Migrant Mother" also stared into our souls, would approve. "
The Boston Globe September 6, 2007
- Biennial in focus at Danforth by Denise Taylor
"... Both photographers and jurors are clamoring to either get into or to jury what has become one of the region's premier showcases for regional talent.
"This is a very, very important show," said Leslie Brown, curator of Boston University's Photographic Resource Center, who cocurated the 2005 Biennial. "It's just exciting. It's a real community builder, and a lot of people come up to see it and to see who's in it."
Ask Karen Haas, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts Lane Collection, about the range of work chosen, and the excitement in her voice is palpable. "Some of the work that we particularly loved felt very personal," said Haas, who cocurated this year's biennial with Arlette Kayafas, director of Kayafas Gallery of Boston.."
Metro West Daily News 2007
Where Art is All in the Family by Chris Bergeron
The Danforth Museum of Art. Framingham, Mass. "...Executive Director Katherine French described the paired shows as offering "some of the best contemporary work being made around Boston." ...Marblehead resident Deborah Bohnert's almost indefinable "Skin Wall" installation uses numerous balloons and other barely recognizable objects to give the impression of submarine life forms crawling along a beach."
The Daily New Tribune
On the Road to Lowell 2007 by Chris Bergeron
"The biennial Massachusetts Artists exhibit at the Brush Art Gallery showcases deserving artists from across the state. "..In a series of subversive self-portraits, Deborah Bohnert portrays herself with deadpan humor as "Fairy Princess Debby"
Catalogue - The Print Center - 80th Annual International Competition 2006
"I found that I was drawn to images created by artists who consciously played upon photography's inherent ability to create what I've come to think of as 'vestiges' -- visible signs (in a physical, rather than theoretical sense) of things witnessed, left, lost, remembered, or imaged"...... "Deborah Bohnert plays somewhere in the margins; her photograph nostalgically points to a not so distant past, but is obscured by other traces, which are themselves evidence of other histories, other media."
Stephen C. Pinson, Curator, Photography Collection, The New York Public Library
The Boston Herald, January 21, 2005
- Show more than 'Skin' deepby Joanne Silver
... ."A more startling vision of man and nature bursts forth in Bohnert's art. The doctored balloons sport eye-popping colors along with physiological oddities. A Valentine's Day's worth of pinks radiates from the painted covers of the four round throw pillows. Found wooden boxes hold poetic pairings of objects, such as a hinged shell and a fleshy deflated balloon. Everywhere, objects hint at organisms growing and dying."
The Boston GlobeDecember 31, 2004
More than 'Skin' deepby Cate McQuaid
... "Deborah Bohnert makes strong work that consistently unsettles; it both attracts and repels, and that's a good thing..... Bohnert carries this exhibit."
Art New England, April / May 2005
"The best remain the paintings in which Bohnert has made one big gesture (like an irregular, kidney-shaped pool of pink flesh tone on white.) Some have added fabric collage elements; though merely garments (a lacey sleeve, a ribbed blouse), these attachments read as fossils, suggesting a human presence."
Art New England, April / May 2003
- ... "The final image often feels like an allusion to nature, something perhaps viewed under a microscope. Initial familiarity fades as layers seem to separate from and then melt back into the overall image, almost as if it being viewed is activating the work."
The American River Catalogue, June 2002
Selected AWARDS and HONORS
Nominated for the James and Audrey Foster Prize
- Though I wasn't picked as a finalist, I was honored to be nominated for the James and Audrey Foster prize. The Institute of Contemporary Art looks to a broad network of local and national colleagues to identiry eligible artists for the prize.
Best Of Show
- The American River
Juried by Carl Beltz, Curator Emeritus of the Rose
Art Museum and editor of Art New England
"One looks for the surprise when one is in front of a piece of art."
Best Of Show
- Brush Art Gallery, Massachusetts Artists 2007 by Raphaela Platow Curator, Rose Art Museum
The Aperture Award
- The Print Center: 80th Annual International Competition: Photography,
Juror, Stephen Pinson, Curator, Photography Collection, The New York Public Library
- Attleboro Museum, Attleboro, MA,
6th Annual Small Works . Juried by Simpson Krause, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts College of Art
- Gallery on the Green, Canton CT.
4th Annual National Small Works. Juried by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo, Director of Curatorial Affairs at Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park
Best Of Show
- Cambridge Art Association, Red,
Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museums
"Technique is crucial in making art. But what is it? Is it the power to make materials do exactly what you want? Or is it the ability to establish a dialogue with them, to let them use you as much as vice versa? This second kind of mastery is not easy to come by. To get it you have to acquire the first kind (at least partly) and then let it go. In fact, it is less mastery than a level of comfort with the medium, a receptivity to its surprising suggestions, its crazy imperatives, its shouts and murmurs. This was my outlook in selecting the works for exhibition, and especially in awarding the prizes." Harry Cooper
1999 - 2005 Personal study with Bernd Haussmann.
1973 - 1976 Boston University Bachelor of Fine Arts. Painting Program
1970 - 1972 Dean Jr. College, Associate in Science. Visual Arts program.
As a child Deborah Bohnert lived with her American parents for many years in Japan. She was raised there also by Yoshiko, a kind Japanese woman who impressed upon her the culture of Japan and the importance of being mindful of the environment. When her family moved back to America, they lived in many different places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. Now she lives on the coast of New England with her husband and two cats.
She graduated from Boston University in the Fine Arts Painting Program in 1972 and began extensive training in Gillean Therapy at the Cambridge Psychotherapy Institute. She combined these experiences to bring art therapy to jails, alternative schools, mental institutions, etc. Then in 1977 she began a private practice in psychotherapy, which she continues today.
In 1999, she began studying art with Bernd Haussmann, the German/American
Abstract painter who greatly reinforced Deborah's deep conviction of the
importance of art and nature being connected in the world.
Her experience of being a psychotherapist (studying man) and her
intense study of nature through observation, meditation and art has confirmed
her strong belief that everything is a product of nature.
In all of her work, Deborah Bohnert forms organic structures, evocative of the interconnection
of events in nature, expressing the process -- the evolution. Whether she is working
with stacking layers of translucent paint on Plexiglas or creating vessels with
fiberglass and paint or forming sculptures from latex or painting on canvas, her
primary concern is to convey a deep connection to nature.
Her work has been shown in numerous museums, galleries and has won many awards. For example, at the Florence Griswold Museum, the exhibition The American River. Out of 1,600 entries she was awarded first prize for her piece "1024 Days" by Carl Belz, Curator Emeritus of the Rose Art Museum; Jeff Rosenheim, Assistant Curator of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Linda Simmons, Curator Emeritus of the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Harry Cooper, Curator of Modern Art at Fogg Art Museum said, "Your work seems to be exploring the line between sculpture and painting in a remarkable way."
When he awarded her Best of Show he said, "Technique is crucial in making art. But what is it? Is it the power to make materials do exactly what you want? Or is it the ability to establish a dialogue with them, to let them use you a much as vice versa? This second kind of mastery is not easy to come by. To get it you have to acquire the first kind (at least partly) and then let it go. In fact, it is less mastery than a level of comfort with the medium, a receptivity to its surprising suggestions, its crazy imperatives, its shouts and murmurs. This was my outlook in selecting the works for exhibition, and especially in awarding the prizes.
Finally, Laura Heon, Curator Mass MoCA said "This is beautiful work and I am impressed by your creative and masterful use of materials."
Deborah Bohnert, 238 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA 01945 781-639-8400
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