Born: New York City, New York, United States
Richard Gubernick was a Buffalo State College professor of fine arts who worked in geometric abstraction during the 1970s. In his hard-edge paintings, he balanced flat and modulated squares of different colors to give an illusion of luminosity within a saturated field of bright red. His style rejected discernible brushwork, striving for smoothness and perfection. At this time in his career he used the same geometric pattern, a symmetrical shape of interlocking squares, with a focus on the center. Each painting changed through different applications of color, extending the concepts demonstrated earlier by Josef Albers and his Homage to a Square series.
A few years later Gubernick abandoned tightly controlled geometric abstraction, began to paint with more gesture, and then introduced modular, constructed components. This later style resulted in public commissions for painted aluminum wall constructions in Buffalo’s NFTA LaSalle Street Station (1984), Boston’s MBTA New England Medical Center/South Cove Station (1987), and the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Gubernick’s work for Buffalo’s rapid transit station is titled Scramble and measures 5 by 41 feet.
Shortly before his death on January 29, 2019, Richard Gubernick's most recent mixed media work was exhibited in "Objects" at the Nina Freudenheim Gallery in Buffalo, New York from October 18 to November 21, 2018. Here is his artist's statement, formed in a geometric pattern:
I believe in change.
I love to change, alter, fix and start again.
I wish I can levitate. I can’t...so I make objects.
They are made piece meal.
Eyes are focused on each part.
An inner eye concentrates on the whole composition.
I agree with the artist who said that we don’t look at art....art looks at us.
I try to get an object to be familiar to me, somewhat like a logo for my thinking.
I believe in the necessity of separating what is out there from what I want to see happen.
Intentions can cloud vision.
RICHARD GUBERNICK, 2018