Exhibition | Tony Berlant | Contemporary Art at Brian Gross Fine Art | San Francisco | Art Week

Tony Berlant

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Saturday, 13 April 2019 to Saturday, 1 June 2019
Saturday, 13 April 2019 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Brian Gross Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of High Ground, an exhibition of new collaged metal wall works and sculptures by Los Angeles artist Tony Berlant, opening Saturday, April 13, with a reception from 4-6pm and artist talk at 4:30pm.  On view will be large and small-scale wall works, and freestanding sculptures, including his trademark “house boxes”.  Ranging between discernible photographic imagery and vibrant multi-layered abstractions, the works in High Ground are imbued with a lyricism drawn from the natural world.  The exhibition will be on view through June 1, 2019.


Tony Berlant is critically renowned for his intricately patterned, obsessively constructed metal collage wall works and sculptures.  Developed in the 1960s, his signature style of combining cutout printed metal elements on two and three-dimensional surfaces and nailing them down with steel brads has allowed Berlant to explore an array of compositional structures and methodologies throughout his career.  Long influenced by the natural environment, Berlant’s newest body of work uses photographic imagery of lush, wooded landscapes and organic patterns as the basis for each work.


Ranging from subtle interventions to densely packed visual riots of patterning, Berlant’s wall works and sculptures reveal his adeptness in both maximal approaches and restrained compositional interventions.  In works like Topanga, Night Bloom, and Pond, Berlant lets the underlying imagery stand on its own, with a minimal layering of additional elements.  In The High Ground, When God Was A Woman, Song, and Hat in the Ring, Berlant goes in the opposite direction, creating the final image by layering brightly colored, richly patterned elements and introducing fields of hexagonally shaped cut-outs across their surfaces.  Also included in the exhibition will be a pair of rectangular box sculptures, smaller wall works that hang perpendicular to the wall, and newly created “house boxes”, the iconic objects for which Berlant is well known. 


Originally from New York, Berlant received his M.F.A. from UCLA in 1963.  Along with artists such as Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, and others, Berlant was an instrumental figure in the establishment of the West Coast Pop aesthetic in the 1960s.  His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and can be found in numerous public and private collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; SFMOMA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Palm Springs Art Museum, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA; Oakland Museum of California; Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, CA; Anderson Collection at Stanford University, CA; Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; and Chateau La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France, among others.


Berlant has also created important site-specific public commissions.  Notable examples include Dancing on the Brink of the World (1987) installed at SFO and Fox (1997), measuring 36 feet high, commissioned by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Los Angeles.  Additional public commissions include the Junipero Serra State Office Building, Los Angeles, 1999; U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse, Sacramento, 1996; Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Virginia, 1994; and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1989-91.

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248 Utah Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

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