On the occasion of Ellen Berkenblit’s second exhibition “Ellen Berkenblit: Paintings” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, we are pleased to invite you to a conversation between the artist and William J Simmons. The conversation will cover the artist’s new work and her overall practice.
This exhibition of new paintings includes works on canvas in addition to works on patterned “quilts” of calico fabric. Until recently, Berkenblit’s paintings were composed primarily through linear means: Shapes, boldly outlined, moving in dynamic diagonals across a very flat pictorial space. In the newest paintings, suddenly shapes are voluminous and the space within the picture deepens.
This is a free event.
About the artist and the participant
Ellen Berkenblit lives and works in New York. Berkenblit’s expressive figuration appears and re-submerges: a witch, a tiger, a shoe, a truck, all reveal themselves as a collection of curves, strokes, and slashes. The forms in Ellen Berkenblit’s paintings and drawings reveal an idiosyncratic ‘alphabet’— the core of her visual language. In her current work, the artist continues to explore varied forms that have occupied her over the course of her 30-year career, combining her obsession with the materiality of painting and mark-making processes as they are diligently applied to paper, linen and sutured calico.
She was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014 and an Arts and Letters grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2013. Her work is in several prominent public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
William J. Simmons is Provost Fellow in the Humanities in the art history PhD program of the University of Southern California. He received his BA from Harvard University and taught art history for three years at the City College of New York. His research and writing have appeared in numerous international books, journals, monographs, and magazines.