Night Gallery is pleased to present Romancing the Stoned, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Michael Berryhill. This is Berryhill’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Berryhill is known for brightly colorful oil paintings which suggest scenes, objects, and landscapes out of rudimentary lines and simple geometries. His dry brush technique, which creates uneven forms and grainy surfaces, appears in harmonious contrast with his day-glo palate, updating the Fauvist project with an interest in texture and a distinctly contemporary color scheme. Palpably cheerful and overtly romantic, the works subvert by reveling in the joy of the handmade, gently providing the viewer the radical experience of pausing before a singular object to appreciate its sheer play of forms.
Berryhill’s figurative works emerge out of abstract experiments which gradually dictate an image. Working on multiple paintings at once, Berryhill builds up his compositions over many months, allowing these improvisations to dictate a representational image, cultivating the artist’s gradual impulses until they amount to a description, loose but legible. A key work in the exhibition, “6:40,” 2019, depicts a painter’s palate with two paintbrushes on its face angled to look like the hands of a clock. The same colors that appear on the depicted palate can be found elsewhere in the exhibition. The work playfully nods to its own process of creation, breaking down its ingredients and long duration of time over which it came into being. The work does explicitly what the others do implicitly, lightheartedly arguing for painting as a space at once meditative and exuberant.
Michael Berryhill (b. 1972, El Paso, TX) received his BFA at the University of Texas (Austin, TX) and his MFA from Columbia University (New York, NY). He has held solo exhibitions at La Maison des Rendezvous (Brussels, Belgium); Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY); Galería Marta Cervera (Madrid, Spain); KANSAS (New York, NY); Jef Bailey Gallery (Hudson, NY); and Okay Mountain (Austin, TX). His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Vienna, Austria) and Lulu (Mexico City, Mexico), among others. Writing on his work has appeared in The New York Times, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail, among other publications. Berryhill lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.