exhibition statement: Quadrant Bearing






“Pattern-finding is the purpose of the mind and the construct of the universe. There are an infinite number of patterns, some of which are known, those still unknown hold the key to unresolved enigmas and paradoxes …”[1]


The work was formulated through a reality of SNO’s architecture: the axis where the line of the East and West, non-perpendicular wall of Gallery 2, crosses the cardinal line of North and South. The angle of the crossing - 76 degrees East of South - lies within one of the four quadrants and is called a quadrant bearing.


Two paintings reveal Bergman’s long-term investigation into the number four. In Quadrant Bearing 1, geometric divisions of space are clearly evident: the two lines isolate a quartet of asymmetrical 4-sided forms. Quadrant Bearing 2, precisely echoing these angled, intersecting lines, is composed of 4 circles; dots which not only create the same divisions of space, but define a lozenge/diamond shape, and also unite the quadrants in a kind of open field.


Both works have precedents in earlier work of Bergman: a series of 4-star constellations of the Northern Hemisphere and a singular painting, Twilight, with its invented pattern. Quadrant Bearing 1 tributes the series in its stark black and white colours while Quadrant Bearing 2 pays homage to Twilight with its micaceous iron oxide dots on a pale pink ground.


In addition to the paintings, a series of eight related drawings is featured on the North (295cm) wall.


Visibly minimal, the work in this exhibition has contextual relationships and mathematical precision.



[1] Agnes Denes, Artistic vision and molecular genetics – Models, Metaphors, and Matter: Artists and Scientists Visualize Scientific Concepts (Art Journal, Spring 1996).




Sydney Non Objective (SNO), Sydney

4 – 26 June 2011