Born in Elloree, S.C., J. Bardin was successful in and out of the state with his evocative abstract paintings that seemed to glow from within. Educated at the University of South Carolina and the Art Students League, Bardin studied with Edmund Yaghjian, Catherine Rembert, Harry Sternberg, Will Barnet, Byron Browne and Vaclay Vytlacil. From 1954, he lived in Columbia, S.C., having directed the Richland Art School of the Columbia Museum. A frequent exhibitor, he showed at the Caravan Gallery, the Creative Gallery and the ACA Galleries in New York. He was represented for many years by the Finkel Gallery in Philadelphia. His many honors include three Best of Shows from Spring Mills, the Bernay Merit Fellowship at the Art Students League, and a guest artist's invitation from the Greek government. The American Federation of Arts selected Bardin to represent South Carolina in a two-year traveling exhibition 50 Artists-50 States.
A love of travel took Bardin on painting excursions throughout Europe and Latin America. His work has been shown throughout the United States and Europe and is in the permanent collections of the Columbia Museum, Penn. State University, Williams College Museum of Art, The Mint Museum, and the Hunter Museum, among others.
Lyrical Abstraction of the last several decades is the most significant development in Twentieth Century painting since Abstract Expressionism of the forties and fifties. Widely misunderstood and misinterpreted by modern historians, Lyrical Abstraction signalled a return to passionate and painterly expression in the late sixties. Lyrical Abstraction rebelled against Pop, Conceptual, Minimal and other commercial and cerebral, social and political art movements in favor of freedom of artistic expression from dogmatic ideology. A complete study of that period remains to be done.
1994-95 catalog from the Art Students League, New York