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Ellen Berkenblit, Lee Maida, Tracy Miller

February 12 - March 14, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 12, 6-8 pm


Derek Eller Gallery presents a three-person exhibition featuring work by Ellen Berkenblit, Lee Maida, and Tracy Miller. Using diverse methods, all three artists are engaged in a process in which representation metamorphoses into abstraction, and images function more as formal devices than descriptors. 


In Tigers vs. Witches, Ellen Berkenblit's figurative renderings serve as the armature for a monumental and densely layered painting. Utilizing oil and charcoal, pushing paint through the pattern of fabric netting, making marks and then systematically removing them, Berkenblit deftly constructs a composition in which the characters become gestures within her painterly lexicon. Inflected with cartoon imagery (a witch, a tiger), Berkenblit's unique handling combines the control and elegance of a drawing with the action and energy of a painting.


Ellen Berkenblit (b. 1958) is a recent recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. She has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and is represented by Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY.


Images function as metonymy in Lee Maida's wall works. Rendered with layers of varied fabric and expressively glazed ceramic, a duality emerges in her work's figurative imagery. A stool is a boot, and a head is a snaking faucet. Those shifts effect a collapse in the linguistic meaning of these images which dissolves into abstraction. 


Lee Maida (b. 1983) was recently an artist in residence at the Macdowell Colony and Abrons Art Center. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY, Taylor Macklin, Zurich, Switzerland, and Kate Werble Gallery New York, NY.


Tracy Miller employs a rich and wide-ranging palette to construct oil paintings that hover somewhere between landscape, still-life and abstraction. An abundance of consumables including lobsters, chocolate cake, and beer are mixed with vibrating circles, spiderwebs, and drips and globs of paint like antithetical ingredients in some grand recipe. Not only does the sensual juxtaposition of seafood and sweets evoke a visceral reaction, but the multifocal perspective further contributes to a sense of disorientation. 


Tracy Miller (b. 1966) had five solo exhibitions at Feature, Inc., New York, NY. In 2013, she had a solo painting survey at American University Museum, Washington, DC. She is a recent recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.