Relative Color

28may(may 28)12:00 pm11jul(jul 11)4:00 pmRelative ColorA Father and Daughter's Paths in Painting


May 28 (Friday) 12:00 pm - July 11 (Sunday) 4:00 pm

Event Details

Opening Reception & Artist Talk Sunday, June 6 | 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Heidi Broner

Artist statement

My father, Mat, and I had a rocky relationship when I was young, but later he became my good friend and mentor. I had become serious about painting, and when I was struggling with a particular piece, I could describe the problem to him, and he was always able to help me solve it–even over the phone without actually seeing it. (This was before sharing images was so easy.) 

Near the end of his life, he was trying to resolve a part of his final painting and asked me what I thought. I went into his studio and spent a little time looking at it. To me, it seemed that one of the colors in the upper left corner wasn’t “talking to” the colors in the rest of the painting. He agreed. We both understood why, yet couldn’t explain it in any way other than visually.

This was a connection I don’t find easily in the everyday world. My father’s paintings speak to me in a real language that is somehow very personal, yet universal—a visual language that feels like my true native tongue.

In my own paintings this is the language I speak. After his death, looking through his many, many paintings, it struck me that although our painting styles are divergent—his abstract, mine figurative– our ways of experiencing color, its physical and spiritual effects, are aligned.  Perhaps my way of seeing, especially seeing color, is as inherited as my bumpy nose, my restless nature, my love of music. 

Heidi Broner grew up near New York City, in a family of artists, immersed in
an atmosphere in which drawing and painting were a natural part of daily life.
Her interests have led her to work in a wide variety of media: in addition to
painting, she has illustrated books, designed and painted murals, created masks
and puppets for the opera Frida and huge outdoor pieces for the band Phish,
and she worked for many years with Bread and Puppet Theater. Since 1999
she has worked in the Vermont granite industry, hand engraving drawings onto
black stone. In 2003 she began her At Work series of paintings, which formed
the basis of a solo exhibition at the Vermont Governor’s office in 2009. She has
exhibited at Studio Place Arts, T.W. Wood Gallery, Artpath Gallery, THE
GALLERY at Central Vermont Medical Center and, in 2020, Heidi was one of the
artists participating in A Critical Balance – Artists Take Action at the Gallery at
Highland Center for the Arts. Her work has been collected by both private
individuals and corporations.

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Mathew Broner was born on January 26, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan. He was an
American artist – a painter and printmaker. He received the First Prize Award in
painting at the Northwest Terrace Exhibition in 1948, First Prize in Painting at
Cranbrook Academy Art in 1947 (shared), 1948, and 1949; and was a
MacDowell fellow in 1979.

Mat Broner graduated from the Detroit Society Arts and Crafts in 1942, Wayne
State University in 1945 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cranbrook
Academy Art in 1948 and a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy Art in

Broner taught painting and drawing at Lawrence Institute of Technology in Detroit
from 1948-1949, at Syracuse University from 1949-1951, and was a painting
instructor and art lecturer at Commonwealth Post College. He joined the art
department at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY in 1967 and eventually
became chairman of that department.
Broner exhibited at Cranbrook Art Academy, Contemporary Art Gallery, Chicago,
Manhattanville College, Chuck Levitan Gallery in New York City, and participated
in numerous group shows in New York City – at Landmark Gallery, as “Artist in
Residence” Gallery Gallery, and Broome St. Gallery, as well as the International
Art Fair in Bologna, Italy in 1978. Broner is represented in several permanent
collections: Illinois State Museum, Cranbrook Museum, Manhattanville College,
and also in several private collections
Mathew Broner died on August 8, 2005.

Click on a picture to learn more.


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