Roving contour lines weave through Berryhill’s paintings like flashlight beams, in pursuit of whatever it is they are already beginning to delineate. Color backlit by canvas or linen gradually becomes light of day, notions of time and place emerge, as do bits of recognizable imagery— the formation of these moments is possibly incidental, though their presence is no accident. Line and color behave as though trying to remember a smoky vision dreamed just after waking, or an obscure cartoon seen years ago.
Color’s role here to evoke sensation, as well as to process it— though not utilitarian by any means, Berryhill’s paintings are remedial. His search for the moment when a painting develops an undeniable inner animus, a presence which demands acknowledgment, is rooted in a fundamental human desire for experiencing objects firsthand— as Berryhill puts it, the part of being human that is worth fighting for.
Michael Berryhill has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Derek Eller gallery. He has mounted solo exhibitions at Night Gallery (Los Angeles), Kansas (New York), Jeff Bailey Gallery (Hudson), and Okay Mountain (Austin). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Kate Werble Gallery (New York), Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Vienna), and Lulu (Mexico City). He has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail. Berryhill received his BFA from University of Texas and his MFA from Columbia University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.