Robert Berlind, an article, "From the Corner of the Mind's Eye," Art in America
      At a time when so many artists archly maintain an ironic distance from their subject matter, Robert Birmelin puts his troubling world smack in your face. From the outset of his extended series of street scenes, he has demonstrated a canny eye for those details that catch us unawares and compel anxious attention. These fleeting visual stimuli give a particular veracity both to the scene and to his proposed model of how, in the thick of it all, we see and experience that world. He notices and articulates what we glimpse peripherally and what is in focus but not yet comprehended: fugitive bits of debris that grab our attention--a magazine cover in a passerby's hand, the alluring advertisement on a distant bus, a discarded glove that unexpectedly gestures from the sidewalk. Not infrequently you find yourself wondering if you've ever seen this or that piece of trash, clothing, sign or architecture in a painting before.
      The power of these images is partly the result of Birmelin's practiced eye for particulars--but not entirely. How does he also manage to give so convincing an account of the sudden shifts of focus, turns of the head and random registering of things near and far that characterize our visual life on a crowded street? Birmelin's sucessful representation of quite various sorts of seeing, of distinct frequencies of perception, is central to his accomplishment. If the work, in its immediacy, calls to mind certain effects of television and film, it is not through emulating those media but through complex pictorial strategies and manipulations of his own medium, acrylic on canvas.
Other Excerpts--Click to Read:
John Yau, article, "How we Live--Paintings by Robert Birmelin, Eric Fischl, and Ed Paschke",  Art Forum, 1981
Donald Kuspit, essay, catalogue, "Robert Birmelin's Split Reality", The Claude Bernard Gallery, 1988
Jed Perl, article, "New York Stories", The New Criterion, 1991
John Hollander, essay, catalogue, "States of Mind", Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA, 2002
P. C. Smith, review, "Robert Birmelin at Luise Ross",  Art In America, 2007