Terry Berlier

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Sawing Logs, 2012 Mixed Media © Courtesy of the Artist
Erased Loop Random Walk Core Sample Prints (This Land is Your Land) and The Not So Solid Earth (Pay Dirt) © Courtesy of the artist and San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
Self-Leveler, 2009 Mixed Media 6' X 3' X 18 © Terry Berlier
Where The Beginning Meets the End, 2013 88 Piano Keys, Mac Mini, Computer Keyboard Microcontroller, Wire, Wire Nuts, Wood Spool, Wood, Copper Pipe, Screws, And Speakers 28x50x50 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist, Photography: David Pace
© Courtesy of the Artist and Kala Art Institute
Long Time I, 2009 Plywood And Monofilament © Courtesy of the Artist
© Terry Berlier
Where the Beginning Meets the End, 2012 © Photo by Eva Childester
Open Secret , 2013
Untitled, 2015
Perfect Lovers, 2011 © Courtesy the artist
Quick Facts
Cincinnati, OH
Birth year
Lives in
Stanford, CA
Works in
Stanford, CA
Upcoming Exhibitions and Events
Apr, 2018

My work investigates how the passage of time and construction of history mediate our understanding of ingenuity and progress. In part, I consider site and audience while producing sculptures that often incorporate sound, kinetics, installation or video. I utilize found materials, technologies that are both vernacular and modern, appropriated detritus from everyday life and common building materials.  

I am particularly interested in making visible technology’s vulnerabilities and illustrating how easily modern inventions can become footnotes to a bygone era. I frequently utilize subtle humor embedded in both material choices and content in order to not simply critique technological evolution but to highlight its fallibility and connection to the evolution of the physical world. As innovations alter how we perceive and interact with the world, are we coming closer to or farther from understanding each other and the world around us? In continually mining this question I find the memory of time and history preserved in the natural environment surrounding us as a major theme in my practice. Past works have addressed this via tree rings, core samples and climate change. I have also explored the architecture of nuclear storage facilities and the material waste of the housing market boom, and subsequent crash, as contemporary sites where the cyclical nature of energy consumption gets recorded. The traces and clues discovered in these investigations reveal unrelenting patterns of the past and remind us to question how we might use that evidence to ethically move forward.


Terry Berlier is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily with sculpture and expanded media. Her work is often kinetic, interactive and/or sound based and focuses on everyday objects, the environment, ideas of nonplace/place and queer practice.

She has exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally including the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco, Catherine Clark Gallery, Babel Gallery in Norway, Richard L. Nelson Gallery in Davis CA, Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, Kala Art Institute Gallery in Berkeley, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Natural Balance in Girona Spain and FemArt Mostra D’Art De Dones in Barcelona Spain. Her work has been reviewed in the BBC News Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and in the book ‘Seeing Gertrude Stein’ published by University of California Press. Her work is in several collections including the Progressive Corporation in Cleveland Ohio, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley California and Bildwechsel Archive in Berlin Germany. She has received numerous residencies and grants including the Zellerbach Foundation Berkeley, Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowship, Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research Fellow at Stanford University, Recology San Francisco, Hungarian Multicultural Center in Budapest Hungary, Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception in San Francisco, Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowship, California Council for Humanities California Stories Fund and the Millay Colony for Artists.

She received a Masters in Fine Arts in Studio Art from University of California, Davis and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She currently is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.

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