The Painting Center is pleased to present vis-à-vis/Emily Berger and Claire Seidl in the Main Gallery. Berger and Seidl are abstract painters who have visited each other’s studios regularly for thirty years and engage in an ongoing dialogue about their work. In this exhibition viewers will find two artists with evidently different approaches to abstraction, and illuminating similarities as well.
From the catalog essay by Kathleen Whitney: "Both painters have created a body of work that is conceptually and formally rich. Both maximize all types of ambiguity – spatial, structural and inferential. They consistently reconsider and revise as they work; the changes are at the heart of their respective processes… For Seidl, each painting is the consequence of the fluidity and mutability of paint, color relationships and action within a given territory. She cultivates an allusive image, one constructed from a complex, nuanced and layered space. ..Berger’s work represents the interplay of additive and subtractive processes … her wavering, sensual, horizontal bands are shadowed by changes and readjustments…seemingly caught in a transitional state; just after or before coming into being. …Berger’s expanding and contracting bars of color and Seidl’s agitated or meditative fields present an expansive architecture of form and concept. Their work is the record of a commitment to the physicality of paint and its transformative promise."
Emily Berger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries, universities and museums, including The Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, and the National Academy of Art in New York which awarded her the John Hultberg Memorial Prize for Painting. Recently she was featured in Process and Synthesis, a four person exhibit at Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn, in Seeing Through, a three person exhibit at 490 Gallery and Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, and in Phaedo at StorefrontBushwick, among others. Her work is included in the American Abstract Artists 75 Anniversary Print Portfolio Exhibition, which is traveling to university galleries around the country, and is included in many private and public collections. Berger received a BA from Brown University, and an MFA in painting from Columbia University.
Claire Seidl is best known as an abstract painter and she has also been making and showing photographs for the last fifteen years. She exhibits her work nationally, and in Europe and Asia. She has had 30 one-person shows and is currently represented by Lesley Heller Workspace in New York, and Icon Contemporary Art in Maine. From 1983 until 2005 she was represented by Stephen Rosenberg and Rosenberg and Kaufman Fine Arts in New York City. She has exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art, the University of New England, the McNay Art Museum, the Aldrich Museum, the Noyes Museum and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Her work is included in numerous public, corporate and private collections; and has been consistently well-reviewed in publications such as Art in America, Art News, The New York Times, Arts Magazine, The New York Observer, The Portland Press Herald, The Brooklyn Rail, New Art Examiner, and Partisan Review. Recent exhibitions have included the solo exhibitions What Was, Is (with sculptor Duncan Hewitt) at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, Maine in 2013; and a survey of paintings from 1988 to 2012 at Icon Contemporary Art, her sixth show in this venue.