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Opening Thursday July 27, 5:30-7:30

Artist Statement

I consider these paintings to be landscapes, although the objects in them often appear more manufactured than organic. Each work employs an aspect of illusion, a reference to three-dimensional space. Yet, upon examination, the forms depicted seem to be composed of nothing other than paint itself, or perhaps a related material, such as modeling clay. Appearing tactile, elements of the paintings twist and transform, becoming buildings, targets, ropes, sticks, bubbles, and areas of flat colour. There is a sense of movement that challenges the weight and solidity of the objects depicted. Larger forms are often composed of a multitude of small, repeated elements, creating works that are both detailed and minimalist.

A few of the paintings in this show came from a recent experiment in which I made very small works, then used them as templates for larger paintings. This led me into new territory. While I was working on them, the small paintings hung next to the larger ones, creating a back-and-forth dialogue between the larger and smaller images. The small paintings function as identification cards, or explanations, for the larger ones. I am presenting these pairs as asymmetrical diptychs to create a slightly humorous relationship between the pieces, inviting comparison and scrutiny.

The paintings also contain references to portraits and still lives. Many of the forms depicted are ambiguous, both in reference and in scale. A vegetal form might represent a tree, a plant, a gesture in paint, or a small part of someone’s face. For me, this preoccupation with shifting
scale is parallel to the experience of life, in which our routines and surroundings may be relatively simple, but they cannot be disentangled from the larger picture of climate crisis, inequality, and disintegrating social structure.

The themes visited in this show stem from a desire to extend the vocabulary of my painting while forming a metaphor for the chaos of contemporary life. Along with an inevitable blend of my daily perceptions and preoccupations, the works contain a contemplation of the larger period in which I paint. It is my hope that, when looking at the paintings, the viewer retains a sense of both scales, of our intimate lives against the macrocosm of our times.


Judith Berry lives and works in Montreal. She studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and spent one year in the Studio Program at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. She has had solo exhibitions across Canada in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa. Judith has also shown in numerous group exhibitions including exhibitions at the Musée du Québec and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Her work is in various collections including: the City of Ottawa, the Musée du Québec and the Art Bank of the Canada Council. She has served as a jury member for the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the City of Ottawa. She is represented by Galerie Art Mûr in Montreal.

Judith Berry, Hand to Hand, 2022


July 27, 2023 @ 8:00 am
September 9, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
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