H.L. Bressack Art Gallery  -  The Visionary Art of Herb Bressack

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About the Artist, H.L.Bressack -

The Amazing Seed Giver- Russian Roots and Kandinsky 

      This is a story that I have heard. I donít know if  its true but my story must begin with my grandfather on my mothers side, Bernard Gellerstein. Around 1904, during the Russo-Japanesse War, he was a clerk in the Russian army. Also at that time, the Russians were beginning a period of Jewish persecution, a terrible pogrom. I guess old Bernie didnít want anything to do with that, so, he was packed into a large steamer trunk, and placed in the baggage area on a train leaving from Odessa and some how or other he arrived safe and sound in Poland. The voyage to America is a mystery that only the ghosts of the gatekeepers at Ellis Island would know.

 ď Every generation blames the one before and all of their frustrations come beating on your door."

The Amazing Seed Receiver 

        According to ancient Vedic scriptures, we take birth at a certain time, in a particular place and through the perfect mother and with the father that we deserve, according to our desires from our previous lives. That being said, somehow or other I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on December 15th 1941 at 2:01 in the morning. My appearance kept my father from being drafted into the army .At that time they were beginning to draft men that had two children  I was the third of the five sons born to Artie and Alice Bressack. I lived in a ground floor apartment at 249 East 51st between Lenox. and Clarkson, one block off  Utica Ave. until I was 12 years old. This was my Ground Zero.

 ďI know that I am a prisoner to all my father held so dear I know that Iím a hostage to all his hopes and fearsĒ

The Seed Begins to Flower- Cowboy Boots and Pollock 

        Around 1950, I remember reading a Life Magazine article about Jackson Pollock and seeing pictures of his famous drip paintings. Secretly, by the grace of all things that move, I was touched in my heart and mind. I knew at that moment, that I would become an artist and one day, I would also portray the excitement of that same energy, that eternal creative force that Pollock had expressed. What did I step into this time? After high school, I joined the Army and wanted to travel and see the world. I got as far as Texas for training and then sent back to a small base in Bayside, N.Y., about 30 minutes from where my parents lived. Some journeys do have longer delays between flights. In 1961, I entered C.W. Post College and met with and studied under, Jules Olitsky, one of the founders of the minimalist school of modern art. I recently saw some of his latest pieces and they are still very fresh and vibrant. He is truly a living legend .I pray for his continued success and grace.

 ďCrumpled bits of paper filled with imperfect thoughts stilted conversations Iím afraid thatís all weíve gotĒ

The Seed in Bloom- C.O.R.E., Shadyside and the Hurricane Club

       About 1963, I moved to Pittsburgh. It was there that I became conscious of my lack of consciousness. I became involved with the C.O.R.E movement protesting horrible racial injustices against Blacks and other minorities (ou vey, Iím a minority), the Vietnam War, (I guess the #2 wasnít the last one) and was living in a very hip area filled with people searching for higher values and truth. It was here that I . met Ed Ellis, a wonderful artist and gallery owner and I had my first one-man show. (Amen). His gallery was a block away from the famous Hurricane Club where some of the greatest JAZZ was played  It is the same creative juice that was present in the paintings of Kandinsky and Pollock.

ďYou say you just donít see it He says it makes perfect sense You just canít get agreement in the present tense We all talk a different language talking in defenseĒ

 San Francisco- Flower child, psychedelic art and the Guru

         In 1967, I moved to San Francisco, right in the middle of a social, political, spiritual and artistic revolution in the Haight-Ashbury District I really enjoyed being an ARTIST. It was a respected occupation and it would justify just hanging around. Anyway, it was during this period that I became completely dedicated and began developing a vision of how I wanted to express the joy and happiness I was experiencing, as the flow of the eternal energy began to pulsate through me. I was truly feeling blessed and it was manifesting itself on canvas in amazing color, clarity and form. .I understood that if you want to portray an abstract world, you must first think in an abstract way. Was I prepared to enter these mysterious worlds where there is no form, no shape all vibration, all emotion, all feeling? Was I ready to sit at the table with my mentors? Was I man enough to make a commitment to give up this world for the sake of art? Almost, but not quite there yet! Enter the Guru and Hare Krsna.

ďSo we open up a quarrel between the present and the past We only sacrifice the future Itís the bitterness that lasts So donít yield to the fortunes you sometimes see as fate It may have a new perspective on a different day And if you donít give up and donít give in you just may be okayĒ

 Leave the past sleep. Trust no future however bright. Live in the present----------Why do I paint?

"The artistic process is more than a collection of crafted things; it is more than the process of creating those things. It is the chance to encounter dimensions of our inner being and to discover deep, rewarding patterns of meaning." Peter London No More Second Hand Art Shambala Press

  • I paint so that I may live another day.
  • I paint to remain on the side of light.
  • I paint what emotions churn up through my hands.
  • I paint what I see.
  • I paint because every color has its own unique vibration, its own DNA.
  • I paint because when two colors touch, like lovers, they create a new vibration.
  • I paint for my pride.
  • But, mainly I paint because I have to.

I seem to be in touch with an inner hologram that continually floats around within the dreamscapes of my mind. No matter how hard I try to draw a tree or a person, it always appears in the abstract form. Certainly, if I wanted, I could, by constant practice, master any technique. Can technical skill co-exist with spontaneous expression? Maybe we can Ask Jeeves?

Above it all, Krsna, God, lives within the heart of every living entity and I hope that some person will be touched by my paintings and decide to buy them. I need the money.


" Say it loud Say it clear You can listen as well as you hear Itís to late when we die To admit we donít see eye to eye" Mike and the Mechanics The Living Years 


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