In his new body of paintings for the exhibition, a window, adore, Michael Berryhill partakes in a type of painterly pareidolia, the visual and psychological experience of seeing faces in otherwise unfamiliar patterns, finding meaning in its absence.
The forms Berryhill unearths are symbols used throughout the history of Western painting – flowers, open books, heroic figures, animals and architectural elements. The commonplace nature of these symbols, however, belies their pliancy of meaning, a characteristic Berryhill underlines by rendering them blurred and indistinct, simultaneously overworked and imprecise. It becomes as difficult to attach a specific meaning to these symbols as it is to fully identify the objects depicted.
In past exhibitions, Berryhill worked with subject material that would develop in opposition to one another, each painting with its counterpoint. With this new group of works, he embarks on a search for significance, knowing all the while that meaning rarely stands still for long.
Berryhill ruminates on the human desire for significance, mining the symbols of art history and our collective unconscious in such a way that the significant object is at once overflowing and empty, ready to be filled again.
a window, adore marks Berryhill’s first exhibition with the gallery.