Michael Berryhill, "Conceiving The Design," 2011, oil on linen on panel, 16x16"
Michael Berryhill, a painter who still values a good struggle in his work, has several fine small-scale paintings in 'Monkey Wrench," a group show at Horton, through July 22. Heavily worked and overpainted (in a good way), the paintings depict tabletop objects in the studio, some of which are identifiable, and others which aren't. Although painters are going through a period in which contingency and ennui are hot, I predict that struggle and tenacity may be right around the corner.
Michael Berryhill, "Palette," 2011, oil on linen, 24x18"
Michael Berryhill, "Pop Up," 2011, oil on linen, 11.75x9.25"
Michael Berryhill,"Stache Rack," 2011, oil on canvas, 18x14"
Michael Berryhill, "The View Through You," 2011, oil on linen, 16x12."
In a NY Times review of his 2009 solo show Karen Rosenberg wrote that Berryhill's paintings were uneven. "Some are worked to within an inch of their lives, while others look as if they were plucked half-formed from the studio." In 2011, the inclusion of both types of work might have a different interpretation. Perhaps part of Berryhill's process has always involved questioning the struggle to resolve his canvases.
"Monkey Wrench: Michael Berryhill, Stacy Fisher, Hilary Harnischfeger, Sally Ross, Kate Steciw, and Wallace Whitney," Horton Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 22, 2011.
NYTimes Art in Review: Greebaum, Thuring, Berryhill (September 19, 2009)
"Unapologetically carnal and verging on the grotesque" (June 15, 2011)
Mary Addison Hackett on Stuggle (Process, July 4, 2011)