Emily Berger is an abstract painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She paints with intense and strong color and in black on wood panels. Her work is engaged at the intersection of gesture and structure, chance and control, openness and containment. She breaks up the linearity of horizontal bands with elisions and marks that stutter or glide, stopping and starting her hand and arm as she draws the brush across the surface in a kind of dance. Within the structure improvisation is key. The horizontal structure provides one kind of rhythmic movement while the marks create a syncopated pulse. The process is direct and immediate, unfolding in time. Revealed in the work are traces of revision, process and thought; the viewer can enter and share in the experience of the painter.
My paintings and drawings are based on a structure of repetitive and deliberate gesture that is intuitive but carefully considered. I brush, wipe, rub, and scrape, incorporating the color, texture and pattern of the paper or wood supports, concealing and revealing underlying layers in various states of transparency and solidity. I work with and against whatever happens as I work. The rhythm and variety of the bands of paint create movement, broken symmetry and light while a break in linearity with a series of irregular marks creates a contrapuntal pulse. Each painting is like a letter I write, or music composed. Within the structure improvisation in time is the key. The process of painting, incorporating the effects of chance, and the materiality of paint are most important to me. Variations and surprise are the elements that keep me going; time and memory are my subjects.
Emily Berger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Brown University, she received an MFA in painting from Columbia University, attended the Skowhegan School in Maine and has been awarded several art residency fellowships. Her work has been reviewed in several publications and is included in many private and public collections. Berger has been exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, Colombia, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, 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, and Blurring Boundaries:The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present, currently traveling to university galleries and museums around the country. Solo exhibitions include Rhythm and Light at Walter Wickiser Gallery, New Paintings at Norte Maar gallery, and Marking Time at Scholes Street Studio in New York City. Recent two and three person exhibitions include Syncopation at Odetta Gallery and Side to Side, Three Ways at Key Projects, also in New York City.