Unknown Figurative Painting - Set Design Modern Oil Painting on Paper Manner of Eugene Berman Surrealist Woman
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Set Design Modern Oil Painting on Paper Manner of Eugene Berman Surrealist Woman

c.1940s

About

This does not appear to be signed. It is in the manner or style of Eugene Berman but it does not appear to be signed.This is a mixed media work, with oil, watercolor ink and gouache on paper. Eugène Berman (Russian: Евгений Густавович Берман; born 1899, Saint Petersburg, Russia – died 1972, Rome, Italy) and his brother Leonid Berman were Russian, Italian Neo-romantic painters and theater and opera designers. Born in Russia, the Bermans fled the Russian revolution in 1918. They moved to Paris where Berman studied art at the Académie Ranson. Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard were two of the greatest influences on his work. The architect Emilio Terry was also a big influence. He launched the "Louis XVII" architectural style that combined different historical aesthetic styles in a dreamlike manner. It was with Terry that Berman first traveled to Italy, where he gained inspiration from the Baroque architecture of Giovanni Guercino, and painters such as Lorenzo Bernini, Giovanni Tiepolo, and Francesco Guardi. Berman's first group exhibition was a show at the Durer Gallery in Paris featuring the "Neo-Romantics". The success from this first exhibition led to his first solo show at the Galerie l'Etoile. His paintings were lauded for their fantastical nature, and eventually provided him with the opportunity to move to the United States. In 1932 Berman was offered an exhibition at the Julian Levy Gallery in New York. Levy and Berman had met in Paris, and Levy had expressed an interest in Neo-Romanticism, as well as Surrealism. Berman often combined the two styles in his imaginary landscapes, which depicted architectural forms in vast and deserted vistas alongside romanticized figures that allude to classical figural studies. His scenes provided a visual commentary on the decay of the modern world, which he portrayed as being in ruins. Berman moved to the United States in 1935 and continued to exhibit in Levy's gallery. Established as a painter Berman began turning his artistic abilities to other endeavors include covers for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Town and Country. He further broadened his artistic repertoire when he began to design stage sets for the Hartford Music festival. He combined his talent for set design with his love of architecture and created sets for several ballet companies and the Metropolitan Opera. Many of his theatrical projects brought him into collaboration with Igor Stravinsky. Berman continued to design theatrical sets for The Metropolitan Opera up until the late 1950s, and for Stravinsky until 1966. Meanwhile, his paintings continued to gain sizable recognition in several group exhibitions as well as a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Berman's success as a set designer did not diminish his passion for painting. He spent much of his time traveling in Europe and the United States, finding a particular affinity for California and the Southwest. He settled in Hollywood, California in the early 1940s. In 1947 Berman was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for a tour of the Southwest, where he studied the desert landscapes. He found a strong correlation between the vast, often bare landscapes he had been painting from his imagination and the flat, dry lands of Arizona and New Mexico. The loneliness and isolation Berman often expressed in his works lay out before him in the arid southwest. He combined these landscape studies from his fellowship with the theatricality of Hollywood to create new commentaries on materialism, fame, and the gaps in post-war prosperity. He still maintained his signature element of Neo-Romanticism, which was a departure from many of his contemporaries who were working with abstract Cubism and Futurism. Several of the paintings that came out of his southwest trip were shown at an exhibit at the Knoedler Gallery in New York. In 1949 Berman married film actress, Ona Munson, most famously known for her portrayal of Belle Watling in Gone With the Wind. The same year, Berman received another Guggenheim fellowship, and the couple traveled to Mexico together. He continued to draw inspiration from the Southwest, all the while maintaining the visual continuity of Greco-Roman ruins. Berman traveled to Italy with Munson in 1950 to see some of his paintings that were in galleries alongside the works of Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp. The international appeal of his work was one of the many factors that contributed to his lifelong success. His classical imagery and architecture combined with the surrealist elements and Baroque shapes made his works very popular with a broad audience. His stage designs brought his unique way of seeing the world to a larger scale as well as to a new audience.In Paris the Bermans exhibited at the Galerie Pierre where their work earned them the name "Neo-Romantics" for its melancholy and introspective qualities, having taken inspiration from the Blue Period paintings of Pablo Picasso. Other Neo-Romantic painters were Christian Bérard, Pavel Tchelitchew, Kristians Tonny and, later in America, their friend Muriel Streeter (wife of their art dealer Julien Levy). Eugène's work was characterized by lonely landscapes featuring sculptural and architectural elements, often ruins, rendered in a neo-classical manner, whereas that of Leonid depicted beaches with fisherman's boats and nets in many parts of the world. In 1935 Eugène left for New York where he exhibited frequently at the Julien Levy Gallery (as did Leonid after the war). Later, in the 1940s, Eugène settled in Los Angeles and married the actress Ona Munson, while Leonid remained in New York and married the harpsichordist Sylvia Marlowe. In 1950 he exhibited at Instituto de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires. In 1950, Berman was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1954. In America, Eugène became well known as a stage designer for ballet and opera. Following the suicide of his wife in 1955, he moved to Rome where Princess Doria-Pamphilj provided an apartment and studio for him in a wing of her palazzo on the via del Corso. He continued to paint there until his death in 1972. Leonid died in New York in 1976. Works Ballet Imperial by George Balanchine, Sadler's Wells Ballet, London (1950). Select Institutions: McNay Art Museum Museum of Modern Art, NY MoMA Art Institute of Chicago Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA Brooklyn Museum Smithsonian American Art Museum Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Details

  • Condition Details
    minor wear
  • Dimensions
    H 15.75 in. x W 14.75 in. x D 1 in.H 40.01 cm x W 37.47 cm x D 2.54 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    LU3824371761
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About the Seller

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Located in Bal Harbour, FL
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