You are currently viewing Reflecting on “Paramount of Eternity” – Art and Mythology at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
Another view of paintings for Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. Bartosz Beda transforms myth into a canvas conversation on perseverance and purpose.

Reflecting on “Paramount of Eternity” – Art and Mythology at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art

  • Post category:news
  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:February 14, 2024
  • Reading time:15 mins read

Exploring Timeless Narratives Through the Canvas at BMFA

If you are in Brownsville, Texas, please visit the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art and explore the recent permanent collection exhibit. This exhibition features two of my paintings from the “Paramount of Eternity” series. It’s a fantastic opportunity to engage with my work up close. If you visit, I’d be delighted if you could capture a moment with my paintings and share it with those who appreciate art and might not have the chance to see the exhibit in person. Your support and engagement mean the world to me, and I hope my work resonates with you.

As an artist, the journey through the creation and exhibition of artwork is a profound exploration of themes that resonate deeply with the human experience. My engagement with these themes was vividly brought to life in the “Paramount of Eternity” series, two of which are currently on display at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art’s group exhibition titled “Impressive Persuasions.” This exhibition, running until the end of February 2024, offers a unique opportunity to revisit the narrative that inspired these works and reflect on their themes’ enduring relevance.

The Inspiration Behind “Paramount of Eternity”at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art

The “Paramount of Eternity” series was first unveiled at my solo exhibition at the museum in 2019, drawing inspiration from the myth of Sisyphus. This narrative has intrigued and inspired thinkers and artists for centuries. According to mythology, Sisyphus, a Greek king known for his cunning and deceit, was condemned to an eternity of futile labor, pushing a colossal boulder up a steep hill, only to watch it roll back down each time he neared the summit. This tale of perpetual struggle and the resilience of the human spirit served as the conceptual foundation for my exhibition.

The Philosophical Underpinnings: Albert Camus and Sisyphus’s Smile

Albert Camus, in his philosophical essay “The Myth of Sisyphus,” reimagines Sisyphus’s eternal toil as a testament to human strength and perseverance. Camus presents Sisyphus as embracing his plight with a defiant smile, finding meaning in the act of struggle itself. This interpretation resonated deeply with me, prompting a contemplation on the essence of eternity, not as a curse but as a critical aspect of the human condition. Much like Sisyphus’s endless endeavor, the act of creation is imbued with a sense of purpose and fulfillment despite its inherent repetition and the ephemeral nature of success.

From Myth to Canvas: Translating Timelessness into Art

In “Paramount of Eternity,” I sought to capture the essence of this mythological and philosophical exploration, using the medium of painting to delve into themes of timelessness, labor, and the quest for meaning in a transient world. The series also draws upon historical references inspired by yearbooks from William Woods University, which I encountered while staying at Fulton Alumni House for a solo exhibition. The faces and stories in these yearbooks prompted a reflection on the legacy of achievement and the fleeting nature of human endeavors.

Beyond the Myth: Historical Echoes and Artistic Inquiry

This body of work questions the value of painting in an era dominated by digital imagery, asking whether the act of creation holds intrinsic worth or is merely another Sisyphean task in the internet age. Through “Paramount of Eternity,” I invite viewers to ponder the significance of artistic labor in a world awash with images, challenging the notion that repetition and futility negate the value of creative expression.

As “Impressive Persuasions” continues to showcase pieces from the “Paramount of Eternity” series, I am reminded of the timeless dialogue between art and mythology and the power of painting to evoke deep philosophical inquiry. This exhibition not only celebrates my work’s visual and thematic complexity but also encourages viewers to engage with the profound questions it raises about the role of art in our lives and the eternal human quest for meaning and purpose.

The Role of Art in the Digital Age: A Sisyphean Task?

The journey of “Paramount of Eternity” is a testament to the enduring relevance of mythology in contemporary art and the capacity of visual narratives to inspire reflection on the most fundamental aspects of our existence. As we navigate the challenges and triumphs of our lives, may we find solace and inspiration in the timeless tales of struggle, resilience, and the search for meaning that unite us all.

“Impressive Persuasions”: Showcasing Eternity at the Brownsville Museum

Two of my paintings are now honored members of the permanent collection at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, a testament to the rich history and vibrant artistic community that the museum represents. The origins of this esteemed institution trace back to 1935, amidst the hardships of the Great Depression, when a group of eight visionary women from Brownsville began hosting gatherings in their homes dedicated to the appreciation and discussion of art. These gatherings laid the foundation for the Brownsville Art League, attracting a diverse membership of men, women, students, and children from Brownsville, Matamoros, and the surrounding areas. Art became an inspiration, fostering community discussions in various settings, including churches, gardens, and parks.

By the late 1960s, the Brownsville Art League embarked on an ambitious project to create a dedicated space for their growing art collection. They commissioned Ruth Young McGonigle, a talented young architect and league member, to design a 4,000-square-foot facility to prioritize the preservation and display of art. McGonigle’s design was a modern, single-story structure crafted almost entirely from concrete, with minimal windows to address budgetary and security considerations. Upon its completion, this building became the new home for the Brownsville Art League, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s history.

The turn of the millennium brought a new era for the league, as it rebranded itself as the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in 2002. This name change signified a renewed focus on expanding its role as a cultural institution, leading to the development of a new, state-of-the-art museum facility. Through the dedication of countless supporters, the museum has realized its vision by completing a 17,000-square-foot building in the Mitte Cultural District of Downtown Brownsville. This modern facility serves as a beacon of cultural enrichment and education, inviting visitors to explore the boundless creativity of the human spirit within its walls. Including my paintings in the museum’s permanent collection is a privilege that connects my work to the enduring legacy and vibrant future of the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art.

If you’re in Brownsville, Texas, don’t miss the chance to see two of my “Paramount of Eternity” series paintings at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art’s permanent collection exhibit. I’d love for you to share a photo of the paintings with art enthusiasts who can’t make it in person. Your support is greatly appreciated!

FAQ – Paramount of Eternity Exhibition