Jake Berthot – New Paintings


Press Release 

October 20, 2001

An exhibition of new paintings by Jake Berthot will open at the McKee Gallery on Thursday, November 8, 6-8 pm, and continue through Saturday, December 22, 2001. There will be 12 oils on canvas done in 2000-2001 and a few pencil drawings.

After having established a strong reputation in the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s as an abstract painter with a poetic, humanist sensibility, Berthot began in 1996 painting trees in the landscape outside his new studio in Upstate New York. He applied the same space, light and touch to the new figurative paintings as he had to the abstractions, with at first an emphasis on the drawing line and then, progressively, on the more painterly qualities.

Since his previous exhibition at the gallery in 1997, Berthot’s paintings have grown more pensive and brooding. The previously clear source of the work is now more and more obscured by a filtering of his own conscious states onto the exterior settings. As in the abstractions, the landscapes become emotive, interior experiences, not just visual ones. The palette is green, brown, yellow, with infusions of light amidst shadows. The scale is small, approximately, 18 x 24 inches, and Berthot’s signal painterliness in these intimate, mysterious spaces is breathtaking. 

Born in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1939, Berthot grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to New York City in 1959. He has received many awards and has had numerous one-person exhibitions in galleries in America and in Europe as well as museum retrospectives and surveys at, for example, the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, and the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. For a full biography, please contact the gallery.