From Donald Kuspit's Essay "Robert Birmelin's Split Reality," Catalogue, the Claude Bernard Gallery
What finally counts in a Birmelin picture is not the observed detail but the tension--flamboyant bipolarization--of the spatial structure, that is, the way the picture is divided against itself. This suggests incommensurate levels of awareness, perhaps even perpetually conflicting orders of reality....The paradox of Birmelin's pictures is that he uses forcefully explicit observations to make a basic psychic structure transparent and ominous. This universal structure necessarily displays itself in a theatrical way, because it is inherently dramatic: the divided space articulates the structural split in the modern self--the very split that defines it as modern.