KANSAS is pleased to present Incidental Western, a solo exhibition of new work by Michael Berryhill. Opening May 17, the works will be on view through June 23, 2012.
Michael Berryhill’s studio practice is an intensive exploration of temporal production and the impossibility of painting. His recent paintings, sculptures and works on paper are informed by accident and recovery; an attempt to invent his way into meaningful mystery.
In Empty and Full, French scholar François Cheng quotes Chang Yen-Yuan, a Tang Dynasty historian in praise of the incomplete:
In painting, one should avoid worrying about accomplishing a work that is too diligent and too finished in the depiction of forms and the notation of colors or one that makes too great a display of one’s technique, thus depriving it of mystery and aura. That is why one should not fear the incomplete… From the moment one knows that a thing is complete, what need is there to complete it? For the incomplete does not necessarily mean the unfulfilled. 894 A.D.
Berryhill’s ceaseless construction begins as a Sisyphean exercise in endurance and culminates in a pictorial expression, imbued with justifications and meaning. The meaning becomes an invention we believe in; control and obsession operate as ways to shape what has been found and gleaned from. If “provisional” painters map a criterion of production that veers towards the casual or deserted, Berryhill antiquates those strategies with indefatigable focus and time, ritualistically adding and excavating layers of pigment and form.
At the core of Berryhill’s methodology is an ecstatic belief in the inexplicable things of the world and their effects on vision and perception. The relationships we cultivate and memories we carry are cherished, thereby meaningful. Berryhill’s work isolates and creates memories out of nothing and in this way the viewer’s engagement becomes a shared experience with the author’s discovery. To this end, the artist finds solace with the process, abandonment, and fulfillment of painting. Through will and faith, Berryhill is loyal to an understanding and acceptance of why images should exist rather than disappear.
Michael Berryhill (b. 1972, El Paso, TX) lives and works in New York, NY. He received a MFA from Columbia University, New York, NY, a BFA in Painting from University of Texas at Austin, TX and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. His solo exhibitions include Horton Gallery, New York, NY and Bryan Miller Gallery, Houston, TX. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Blütenweiss Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Okay Mountain and Arthouse, Austin, TX; Bull and Ram, New York, NY; David Castillo, Miami, FL and Participant Inc. New York, NY among others.
This is Michael Berryhill’s first show with KANSAS.