James Vanderberg

Hunter College Times Square Gallery, 2008

Hunter College Times Square Gallery, 2008

I was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  My work continues to harken back to the waterways and beaches of this landscape.  Although rooted in abstraction and color interactions, all my work makes a connection between the figure and field, landscape and our place in that space.

I received my M.F.A. from CUNY Hunter College in 2008, creating large-scale abstract works for my thesis exhibition, for which I earned the Hunter College Tony Smith Award for exceptional graduate work.  While at Hunter I was also awarded the Luetz/Riedel Fellowship for exchange travel to L'ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris, France.  It was here that I immersed myself in the landscapes of Monet, Cézanne, the Impressionists and the landscape and light of Provence and Brittany.

Upon my return I began work on a new series of watercolors and drawings that focused on the bays, beaches and waterways of my Long Island home.  With my older brother, a poet, we begin to mine our collective history to rediscover our native shores and stories.  

Our book, Weather-Eye, can be seen here.

For the past five years I have taught studio art and art history from the university level to local community workshops.  Currently I am an instructor at Brooklyn Art Space and an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.  


Artist Statement  

The foundation of my work is the emotive marriage between color and landscape and the relationship between figure and field.  My work evokes a sense of landscape without necessarily depicting an actual location.  I work from nature and collect moments and places in sketches and drawings that are then translated through color and gesture to create investigative spaces for a viewer to exist in.  My process is a narrative of mark making, scraping, over painting and building up of layers.  Currently, an exploration into the structures of nautical knot systems provides a reference for drawing and composition in the work.  I am equally influenced by the landscape of the East Coast and New York's local waterways, where I currently reside, as well as the Great South Bay of Long Island, where I grew up.