Roland Kulla’s work on display in Fermilab Art Gallery

Roland Kulla’s Michigan II is one of the drawings in the current Fermilab Art Gallery exhibit.

Artist Roland Kulla has spent the last dozen years exploring and capturing bridges, focusing on what he calls “bridge cities” such as Boston, Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh and, most recently, Berlin.

An exhibit of Kulla’s work titled Abstract Jewels of Modernism is on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery through July 14.

Kulla aims to bring the viewer’s attention to the bridges’ structural logic and to the character each one takes on when seen apart from its surroundings.

“I compose with the camera to abstract elements of the bridge and then render them in a photorealist style,” he said. “I’m a self-taught artist. This is my own style. I call it abstract realism.”

Kulla shows the bridges in paint, pencil and print with a close-up perspective, inches away from the beams and rivets, so the viewer can enter into the structure.

“We take ordinary things for granted and never really take a close look,” he said. “My works provide that view and hopefully demonstrate that even these mundane structures can be beautiful. Scale is important in making a visual impact.”

An artist reception will be held in the gallery tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

—Leah Hesla