Opposites Attract: Kramer and Bercaw at the Plain Dealer

Two diametrically opposed artistic points of view are showcased in a joint exhibition of paintings in the Cleveland Plain Dealer gallery June 24 through August 24. The artists are Gerald Kramer and Ruth B. Bercaw.

Kramer was attracted to abstraction when he commenced his artistic career and shortly found himself working in a totally non-objective mode. His aim was to achieve excitement in his work such as he sensed in the works of other artists. But, after a good amount of time and effort , he determined that feeling was simply missing from his art. From his own perspective, his work seemed false, not honest.


Gerald Kramer

In this ‘non-objective’ period, whatever distortion of reality that had been present in his work began evolving into reality–a reality of traditional, naturalistic (photographic) images. Kramer’s unique brand of naturalism asserted itself and gradually took on a life of its own, becoming virtually surreal. Collections of objects in urban settings , all classically developed and sharply defined fill his canvases. Currently, his compositions of painted realities are intended to create ambiguities. Kramer’s viewers are challenged to divine any of many possible unstated meanings he has posed in the enigmas of his work.

Bercaw, in contrast to Kramer, came at her art as a realist. Employing standard, classical techniques more or less associated with realism, she cycled through sets of subject matter, one after another, in vain attempts to achieve significant meaning in her paintings. Over time, dissatisfaction fueled a gradual evolution in the direction of modernity, culminating in a conscious move to divorce herself of dependence on realistic images.

With that move she landed in the world of abstraction, found her voice and discovered a world of ideas. Rural spaces and wild nature, earth’s strata embedded with remnants of eons past, stands of oak trees supporting Virginia creepers and other natural phenomena inspire her art. Rough sketches made on location along creek beds suggest compositional spaces in her current work, and are truly abstracted chunks of reality. She employs completely arbitrary color, often joyous, all in an outright celebration of life and nature’s forces.


Gerald Kramer and Ruth B. Bercaw

A City Artists at Work Exhibition

The Plain Dealer

1801 Superior Avenue, Cleveland

June 24 – August 24

Monday -Friday, 9 am to 5 pm by appointment


City Artists At Work

2218 Superior Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44114