Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce a survey exhibition of still life photographs from the 1980s by Zeke Berman. Berman’s formal yet playful images evoke both Surrealism and Constructivism. Combining everyday objects easily found in the Chinatown/ Lower East Side neighborhood where he lived at the time, we find teapots, rubber balls, canes, and newspapers (a witty reference to cubist collage.) Berman’s theatrical use of lighting, black velvet and ordinary out-of context elements present a mysterious theatrical place. The richness and precision of these illogical spaces is enhanced by the increasingly rare silver print medium.
Between 1985 and 1995 Julie Saul Gallery (previously Lieberman & Saul Gallery) mounted five shows of Berman’s distinctive, studio based, large format studies. Saul first saw Berman’s Still Life with Necker Cube in the early 1980s at the Museum of Modern Art. When Lieberman & Saul was formed in 1984, Berman was one of the first artists to be represented by the newly formed partnership. We are excited to present Berman’s work to a new audience and generation.
During the decade when these works were first shown, Berman had solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art in Bern, and San Francisco Camera Work. He was represented in the first New Photography show at MoMA in 1985, and the Counterparts show at the Metropolitan Museum in 1982. He has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.
Berman’s work is represented in virtually every important museum collection in the United States including The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Los Angeles County Museum, The Philadelphia Museum, The San Francisco Museum, the MFA, Houston, the Nelson Atkins , and the National Museum of American Art.
Thirty years later, Berman’s early still lifes remain as beautiful, fresh and evocative as they when they were first seen.