Effervesce 1998, 35.5”x47.5” Oil on Canvas (Left)
Effervesce is marvelous abstract piece with a fine balance of shape, space and color. The basic rectangular shapes lend themselves to the shape of doors or windows, which is a common theme of Bireline’s work. They are surrounded by empty space of subtle shades of grey that seemingly suspend the heavily saturated rectangles. This contrast attracts the viewers eyes and makes it terribly difficult to simply glance over the piece.
Effervesce has a very peculiar story behind its creation. Above the mantle in George Bireline’s Cameron Park home sat a painting very similar to Effervesce. Upon a visit to Bireline’s home, an admirer of his work saw the piece and desperately wanted it. Bireline refused to sell the piece but instead offered to take a commission for a piece similar. The result of that commission is Effervesce but it was never claimed by the commissioner after its creation. Ultimately, it ended up in Bireline’s estate of works after his death.
Window/Landscape 1968, 73”x41.5” Oil on Canvas (Right)
Bireline often showed his work in the André Emmerich Gallery in New York and was associated with the New York Color School in the 1960s. From the minimalist colorfields to the abstract expressionism, Window/Landscape is an impressive piece that references heavily to the New York Color School. Through creative liberties though Bireline made the piece its own.
Harsh borders separate the individual shapes into multiple planes creating the feintest illusion of depth. Sitting center on the canvas is the clear shape of a window depicted with subtle shades of blues and purples as it pours into the top of the canvas as reference to the sky. Through the window we see shades of green and yellow that spill out onto either side. The rounded borders of these greens and yellows hint to the lush vegetation of a landscape. Below the window are pink stripes covering a sky-blue wash that could easily represent the siding of a house.