Video still from Ellen Berkenblit: Lines Roar, 2018

Video still from Ellen Berkenblit: Lines Roar, 2018. A film by Ellen Berkenblit, directed by Monica Brand and Francisco Lopez.

Talks & Panels

Artists’ Talk: Ellen Berkenblit and Sarah Braman

MFA presents Ellen Berkenblit and Sarah Braman in conversation with curator Kevin Moore. The opening reception for True Blue Mirror: Ellen Berkenblit and Sarah Braman follows the conversation.

In the Bay Area premiere exhibition for these two New York-based artists, Moore stages a theatrical dialogue between the pictorial calligraphy of Berkenblit’s gestural, semi-abstract paintings and the vernacular materials of Braman’s blocky, quasi-mystical sculptures and environments. At times viscerally physical, pleasingly coherent, and intriguingly contradictory, True Blue Mirror proposes an impromptu stage production of sorts, engaging Braman as set designer and Berkenblit as casting director. Juxtaposing these two bodies of work reveals correspondences in line, color, and composition, yet differences in scale and dimensionality, as each is reflected and refracted through the vision of the other.

Working together with Moore, the artists have also chosen a complement of photographic works from the Collection to expand the exhibition. Over the course of the conversation the artists will share insights into their unique methods and practices and their experiences collaborating on the exhibition at MFA.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Ellen Berkenblit (b. 1958) is a painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied painting at The Cooper Union, and her work is in many museum collections, notably the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Aspen Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her first film, Ellen Berkenblit: Lines Roar, was shown at the Drawing Center, New York, in 2018.

Sarah Braman (b. 1970) is a sculptor who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Amherst, Massachusetts. She grew up in Tonawanda, New York, and attended the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. She had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2013, and her work Driving, sleeping, screwing, reading (included in the present exhibition) was featured at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, in 2017.