Lauren Simkin Berke
To be kept
December 1, 2011 - January 7, 2012
Reception: Thurs., Dec 8 from 6 - 8pm
Lauren Simkin Berkes work is grounded in vernacular photography and Americana. Each composition is loosely based on a found photograph - an intimate possession discarded by its owner. Working in house paint and marker on large canvases and in drawing and in a variety of printmaking processes on small, snapshot-sized blocks, the artist addresses how we document ours lives. Adding a mixture of pathos and humor, Berke includes bits of carefully selected and collaged images, such as 1960s dress patterns, interiors of envelopes, ticket stubs, a yellowing receipt. The artist also layers on text borrowed from the surfaces of the photographs (REMEMBER THIS TRIP IN 39) or transcribed from to-do lists in meticulously maintained journals (go grocery shopping). In keyed up colors, Berke highlights the queerness of the tropes we use in picturing ourselves. The work addresses that which is desired, loved and kept in our society and in the smaller family unit as well as that which is hidden beneath the surface or discarded entirely over time.
Lauren Simkin Berke received a BA in anthropology from Cornell University and an MFA from the School of the Visual Arts, NYC. The artist has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Unites States and abroad at venues including P.P.O.W, NY; Gescheidle Gallery, Chicago; Art Gallery of Alberta, Canada; A.I.R. Gallery, NY; The Museum of Arts & Crafts ITAMI, Japan; and Paul Robison Gallery at Rutgers University in NJ, among others. Berke was selected for the Elsewhere Collaborative Residency in 2008, the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship in 2007 and the Makor Artist Residency in 2005. Berkes work has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, the LA Times and numerous other publications. Berke is represented by Riley Illustration and Accola Griefen Gallery and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.