John: The Search for Equilibrium

George Bireline

George Bireline (08/12/1923-08/20/2002) was born in Peoria, Illinois.  He was involved with performing art throughout his life which is reflected in some of his art work.   Perhaps he is most well-known for his 'self-portraits'; seemingly real people, but actually bearing no physical resemblance to anyone in particular. While studying at the University of North Carolina in the 1950s, Bireline spent his summers working at the Cherokee Indian Reservation as a scenery technician for outdoor dramas.  In the summer of 1959 he became the Instructor of Art at the Cherokee Indian Reservation Government School. In 1954 he moved to New York City and worked for Llewellyn Tilson.  Later he returned to Raleigh, North Carolina, and worked as a Technical Director for the Raleigh Little Theater and the North Carolina School of Design. He was featured in a 1957 "Art in America" article on new talent in the United States.  He was commissioned to do a mural for the Mecklenberg County Office Building in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1961.  In 1968 he was awarded the National Council of the Arts' award for the Southeast. During his life, he has participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States and several solo exhibitions in North Carolina.  In 1976 a retrospective showing of his art was held in his honor at the North Carolina Museum of Art. His work is included in the permanent collections of a variety of museums including the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, the Hirshourn Museum of Art in Washington DC, and the Fayetteville Museum of Art in North Carolina.

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