Sept. 21, 2013–Jan. 5, 2014
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013
Remarks at 2:30 p.m.
Brilliant color, almost meditative compositions and illusory textures reveal a photographer who “paints” with her camera. Connecticut-based photographer Fern Berman finds beauty in unexpected places: a swatch of flaking paint, a splash of Venetian red, words of faded graffiti or an ancient weathered rooftop. Approximately twenty of her photographs, whose emotive color owes a “great debt” to painters such as Franz Marc, Mark Rothko, Vasily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, will be on view in NEW/NOW: Fern Berman.
Berman’s interest in abstraction, color relationships and expression through de-materialization and decay rests on patient observation and extended contemplation of her chosen subject. Whether viewed as a group or individually at close range, her photographs pose the question: does Berman imbue the subject with mystery and emotion through her distinctive vision, or is she simply revealing the layers of what is already there? As Tracey O’Shaughnessy ofRepublican-American has observed, “Perhaps that’s [her] way of reminding us how each of us lays a thin layer of ourselves which ultimately erodes to reveal something earlier and more atavistic. Or perhaps it’s a reminder that corrosion itself is a kind of beauty. More than likely, though, it is the photographer’s gentle nudge to encourage us to look a little closer to see radiance in the neglected, moldering architecture that defines our lives.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1958, Berman studied photography at the Art Institute of Boston and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In addition to the New Britain Museum of American Art, her work is represented in the collections of Wesleyan University, the Buhl Foundation, WNPR New Haven, and numerous other private collections.