Emily Berger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of  Brown University, she received an MFA in painting from Columbia University, attended the Skowhegan School in Maine and has been awarded several art residencies. Her work has been exhibited widely, and is included in many private and public collections.  Solo exhibitions in New York City include Chorus, at TenBerke Architects, Rhythm and Light at Walter Wickiser Gallery, New Paintings at Norte Maar gallery, and Marking Time at Scholes Street Studio. Recent exhibitions include On Balance, curated by Mary Birmingham, at ArtCake, Sight/Unseen, curated by Hanne Tierney, SONIC at Metaphor Projects, Form and Intent at Abstract Project in Paris, the two-person Syncopation, at Odetta Gallery, Salon Zurcher, 11 Women of Spirit, at Zurcher Gallery, and Side to Side, Three Ways at Key Projects in New York City, which was reviewed by Karen Wilkin in The Hudson Review, Winter, 2021, and by Karen Schifano in Two Coats of Paint. Her work has been reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and The Boston Globe, among other publications, as well. She is a member of American Abstract Artists and included in the traveling exhibition, Blurring Boundaries:The Women of American Abstract Artists,1936-Present, on view in 2023 at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Artist Statement 

My work is based on a structure of repetitive and deliberate gesture that is intuitive but carefully considered. The seriality of minimalism and an abstract expressionist method combine in these paintings, with color as a primary concern. Chance is an essential element of the process;  I work with and against whatever happens as I paint. Texture emerges as I brush across the surface, creating vestigial verticals among the horizontals in unpredictable ways. In my current work I continue to break up the linearity of horizontal bands with series of stuttering or irregular marks, made by stopping and starting my hand and arm as I draw the brush across the surface.The rhythm and variety of the bands and marks of paint, the motion of painting, and color create broken symmetry and light.  I am engaged at the intersection of structure and improvisation, chance and control, openness and containment, movement and stillness.  Each painting is like a text I write, or music composed.The process of painting, incorporating the effects of chance, the materiality of paint and surface, evidence of the hand and body and the painter painting, are most important to me. Variation and surprise, freedom within this structure of repetitive movement and mark making are the key elements of my work.