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Michael Berman
Scheinbaum and Russek, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Iris McLister


Continuing through November 17, 2012


Photographer Michael Berman’s pristine Southwestern landscapes are interpretations of the American desert in nuanced black and white. The exhibition coincides with the release of his new monograph of photographs, "The Gila: Radical Visions/Enduring Silence." On view are associated carbon pigment prints and gelatin silver prints; the latter are independent compositions or collages on aluminum plates. 


Berman has a keen eye for texture and a marvelous ability to capture the veins of a leaf or the vastness of a mountain range with equal care and precision. Born in New York City, Berman describes himself as a radical environmentalist, and has made the remote New Mexican Mimbres Valley his home for decades. For these photographs, he hiked miles into the Gila Wilderness. “Untitled, Gila” consists of four prints depicting tall grass, the group placed side by side. The grass looks gently trampled and invitingly soft; the images are cropped so that the grass is all you can see, urging the eye to focus on the simple but arresting harmony of the whirling stalks. Berman seems just as concerned with conveying the resilient beauty of the natural environment as he is with conveying a beauty based on purely aesthetic attributes.

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