Norte Maar is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Emily Berger from October 21-November 19. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 21 from 6-9pm and thereafter the gallery will be open weekends 12-6pm and by appointment through November 19.
On exhibit are new paintings and a selection of drawings the artist created this past summer during her residency at Norte Maar’s Jay House. The exhibition will feature the artist’s ongoing structure of repetitive and deliberate gesture—brush strokes from left to right. Yet in these new paintings, the consistency of the mark and gesture has become punctuated with deliberate pulsation of dense pigment.
“Emily Berger’s paintings have been recognized for their meditative and pensive mark – a brush stroke starting left and moving to the right. It is a deliberate and repetitive gesture and one the artist continues to explore year after year.
In the new paintings by the artist we see again the consistency of the mark, and yet in some the gesture has become syncopated—become punctuated with deliberate pulsations of dense pigment, places where the eye pauses or rests. I’d like to think that this is an attempt by the artist to introduce a narrative—a story with stops and explanations, beginnings and endings. The new paintings balance space completely, just as they have in the past, but there is a focused effort on an emotion. Dense marks vs light ones. Direct marks vs subtle ones.
From Jackson Pollock to Helen Frankenthaler to Morris Louis, the significance of the mark has all but come to define the momentum of Post-War American art. It’s what Clement Greenberg called pictorial meter. Berger’s paintings, like Louis’ Veils, create the effect of a screened, mysterious presence. And her decision to allow the natural grain of her wood panels to remain integral to her work gives over completely with Post-War’s passion for the unprimed canvas. Her repetitive dragging corresponds to Monet’s scumbling, as the directed quality of the painted layers “combines with the ethereal tonalities to produce a poetic atmosphere,” as Bill Rubin once said of Pollock.
The meditative and the sublime ride close in definition and both are accurate when describing Berger’s work. But I’ve always been drawn to her paintings for their grace and energy, finding them epic and full of emotion whether they be darkly haunting or simply the celebration of sunlight.”
-Jason Andrew, Brooklyn, October 2017
Emily Berger is an abstract painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Chicago, she grew up in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Brown University, attended the Skowhegan School and received an MFA from Columbia University. She has been awarded several art residencies and exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, Colombia, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University , Kent State University in Ohio, and the National Academy Museum in New York City which awarded her the John Hultberg Memorial Prize for Painting. She is included in the American Abstract Artists 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio, an exhibition of which is currently traveling to university galleries around the country. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications and is included in many private and public collections. Solo exhibitions include Rhythm and Light, at Walter Wickiser Gallery, and New Paintings, at Norte Maar, both in New York City in 2017.