Giving Life to the Community
Carl & Marie Dern:
Carl Dern was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He came to San Francisco in the 1960s where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute and received a BFA in Sculpture. He then received an MFA degree in Sculpture from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the recipient of the Anne Bremer Prize in Art in 1969 and 1972. He was also cofounder of the New Museum of Modern Art in Oakland, California, in 1970.
Carl Dern works mainly in welded steel. His interests lie in the posture of the human figure, balance and imbalance. The figure may itself be portrayed in the human form or in the form of chair, tree, or ladder. There is a narrative quality to his work indicating that the sculpture before the viewer has a story that includes a past and a future. For example, an elongated chair may seem to the viewer to expect someone or to have just missed a companion.
Carl Dern is also known for his work in the applied arts. His tables are steel or bronze. They are characterized by witty references to traditional furniture design translated into metal that is patinaed or painted.
Over the years Dern has exhibited widely in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. His latest exhibition was in the Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, California, in 2003.
Marie C. Dern came to San Francisco in the 1960s from Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a BA degree in Classics. She later attended Mills College, Oakland, California, and earned a MA in Book Arts.
Since 1974 Dern has operated Jungle Garden Press, presently in Fairfax, California. She is a letterpress printer and has produced approximately 35 titles over the years. She works with other artists and writers, producing limited editions of hand-made and hand bound books. She also prints and binds one-of-a-kind books of her own work. Among her titles are: Elephant by Raymond Carver, Believe It or Not by Kay Ryan, Duet by William Shakespeare and Hank Williams, Mayhem Pestilence and Disasters by Marie C. Dern, and a story, Muriel, also by Marie Dern on CD.
She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the San Francisco Center for the Book. Her books are in many collections, including the Achenbach Collection of Graphic Arts, the San Francisco Public Library, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.