In the end of certainty, Birmelin's scenes feel specific yet carry a universal unease. The confusion and chaos of protests and uprisings, as well as the plight and disappearance of blue-collar work, provide his subject matter. The tension that exists between those who act and those who watch from afar is palpable. Birmelin is depicting people, caught in a tide of change they are incapable of riding and helpless to prevent. These changes ensnare us all.
Grounded in basic, but very real fear of a world rendered strange, nothing is a given, and there is no higher power to protect us. While Birmelin's paintings do at times imply that there is someone in control, this thought is not reassuring.
The end of certainty indeed.
This is Robert Birmelin's third exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery.