October 4, 2003
For her second solo show at Anton Kern Gallery, American artist Ellen Berkenblit will present a series of paintings and recent drawings that incorporate the use of perforated and expanded metal. Painted separately and fused together, the metal assemblage forms a graffiti landscape that is both uniform and trippy.
For this exhibition Ellen Berkenblit switches the underlying support and transports her imaginary world from the canvas onto a lattice metal surface. Using the grid as a framework for her compositions, she manipulates the structure through color, form and repetition of imagery. Scenarios of a distant world drift across the construction in a cursive route of visual thought.
Animals and figures punctuate the drawings and paintings in a recognizable style that hovers between representation and abstraction. The artist depicts a private world where real and imagined experience exists side by side. The paintwork itself, sometimes reckless, sometimes gentle, is as important to understanding the thoughts as the narratives depicted. Berkenblit’s patchwork creation resembles the story of Frankenstein in that it composites the artist’s surroundings; the resultant climax is the creation of its own development.