Ellen Berkenblit, Untitled, 2016 Sarah Braman, Road Trip, 2018

Ellen Berkenblit, Untitled, 2016. Courtesy of the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, and Anton Kern Gallery. Photo credit: Adam Reich, NY; Sarah Braman, Road Trip, 2018. © Sarah Braman / Courtesy of the artist, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, and Linn Lühn, Düsseldorf

Ellen Berkenblit, Untitled, 2016, oil on calico - oil, paint stick and charcoal, 72 x 59 inches. Courtesy of the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, and Anton Kern Gallery. Photo credit: Adam Reich, NY

Exhibition

True Blue Mirror: Ellen Berkenblit and Sarah Braman

True Blue Mirror stages a theatrical dialogue between Ellen Berkenblit’s gestural, semi-abstract paintings and Sarah Braman’s blocky, quasi-mystical sculptures and environments.

True Blue Mirror is the Bay Area premiere exhibition for Ellen Berkenblit and Sarah Braman, featuring recent work by the two prolific, New York-based artists from the McEvoy Family Collection. The exhibition brings together for the first time Braman’s sculptural animation of vernacular materials—camper shells, chairs, wallpaper—with Berkenblit’s boldly realized, often recurring cast of characters that are imbued with a Pop sensibility.

Their pairing proposes an impromptu stage production of sorts, engaging Braman as set designer and Berkenblit as casting director. Juxtaposing the work of the artists—who had not met in person prior to formulating this exhibition—reveals correspondences in line, color, and composition, yet differences in scale and dimensionality, as reflected and refracted through the vision of the other.

As an exercise in viewer speculation, True Blue Mirror explores the surprising similarities, as well as surprises within the similar, in a combined body of work that is both exuberant and introspective. Furthering MFA’s continued growth as a place of exploration for artists and visitors alike, the exhibition includes a selection of photographs from the McEvoy Family Collection, chosen by Berkenblit and Braman.

True Blue Mirror is curated by Kevin Moore.

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.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Kevin Moore is a writer and curator based in New York. In addition to helping build the McEvoy Family Collection, he is the Artistic Director and Curator of FotoFocus, Cincinnati. Moore has produced numerous museum exhibitions and accompanying catalogues, most recently, Old Paris and Changing New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott (Taft Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2018), Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks (Contemporary Arts Center/Damiani, 2018), and “Emulsion Society,” in Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern (Museum of Modern Art, 2019).

THE ARTISTS SELECT WORKS FROM THE MCEVOY COLLECTION

Robert Adams
Diane Arbus
William Christenberry
Moyra Davey
William Eggleston
Walker Evans
Robert Frank
Lee Friedlander

Candida Höfer
Kati Horna
Chris Lowell
Herbert Matter
Ray K. Metzker
Thomas Ruff
Jason Simon

VIDEO
Twilight Talks: Kevin Moore in conversation with Ellen Berkenblit
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Berkenblit, Braman’s trippy ‘True Blue Mirror’ at McEvoy Foundation

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