02/12/2004 - 05/02/2004

Art Museum of South Texas

Ellen Berman’s still life paintings are quiet evocations of the beautiful simplicity of everyday objects. Despite that apparent simplicity, the paintings hold a deeper level of interest, as if empty bowls and pieces of fruit have a personality of their own. Berman says “Painting pictures of objects from the most ordinary of worlds – the table, the kitchen, the grocery store – allows me to look at these objects. In a way, it’s like trying to live an examined life. The challenge becomes how to transcend the ordinary and how to find the illumination that is within.” Berman was born in Paris, Texas, grew up in Bryan, Texas and lived as an adult in Houston and Austin. She currently lives and works in Wimberly, Texas. Aside from being visually pleasing and formally precise, the painted objects have a narrative quality that is intriguing. It is this edge that turns a still life into a novel and draws our attention.