Over the last 35 years, Cindy Bernard has developed a conceptually oriented practice working across a variety of media. Since 2016, she’s been using painting to push and pull at the boundaries between documentary, representation and abstraction. This on-going theme was first explored in early works such as photographs of fabrics which resembled abstract paintings (1985-1987) and the “Security Envelope Grid (1987-1993)”, a 100 part work consisting of photographs of graphic patterns used in bank envelopes to conceal their contents.
Bernard’s work is in numerous permanent collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Pompidou. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from the J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, California Arts Council, Creative Capital, Anonymous Was a Woman, the Harpo Foundation, California Community Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan, and was included in the Whitney and Lyon Biennials.
In addition to her visual practice, Bernard takes an active interest in the spaces and production of social exchange. She was a director and advisor to Foundation for Art Resources from 1985 to 1990, a founding director of the Coalition for Freedom of Expression, and co-founder of MOCA Mobilization. Bernard is also the founder and director of The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS). She has curated and produced more than 50 concerts for SASSAS including “Welcome Inn Time Machine” for Pacific Standard Time in 2012.
Bernard has taught in art programs across Southern California. She was an Adjunct Professor of Graduate Fine Art at Art Center College of Art and Design and was appointed the inaugural Ruffin Distinguished Artist-In-Residence at the University of Virginia for the academic year 2013/2014.
She was a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow at the MacDowell Colony and was in residence at the UCross Foundation in 2017. Her most recent solo exhibition was at RIchard Telles Fine Art, also in 2017, and she is a 2020 recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant.. Her work can be seen in “Not I: Throwing Voices (1500BCE – 2020 CE)” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through July 25, 2021.