Roland Bernier is dedicated to the use of words in his art. These words are used to convey meaning, but often that meaning may not be apparent to the viewer. Bernier is known to have chosen words simply because he liked the way they looked in his art works. He also sought to challenge and breakdown the barriers drawn with conventional definitions of art. Bernier was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1932. He earned a BFA from the University of Texas and his MFA at the University of Southern California in 1960. He returned to Texas, moving to Houston, where he taught and exhibited his work in galleries and museums. At the time, his work was abstract expressionist, but beginning in 1964, he started to incorporate letters, numbers and words into his compositions which would anticipate his later conceptual efforts. Bernier and his wife moved to Denver where his work enjoyed wide acceptance since the 1980s and has been exhibited extensively in many of the city’s top galleries, including the Mary Mackey Gallery, Hassel-Haeseler Gallery, Robischon Gallery and Spark Gallery. Bernier’s work has been shown at the Denver Art Museum, where he was the subject of a 2001 solo, Between the Lines: Word Works by Roland Bernier. His pieces have also been exhibited at the MCA Denver, the Kirkland Museum, and the Arvada Center. The DAM and the Kirkland have Bernier’s work in their respective permanent collections.
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