Multi-disciplinary Laura Berger creates abstract environments and explores universal themes of rituals, nature, and freedom in her portraits of female subjects. Berger works primarily in acrylic on wood panel, but also brings her characters to life in ceramics and large-scale murals. Though the scenes in her paintings vary widely, Berger has developed a signature color palette and minimalist human form that is instantly recognizable.
Her female figures tend to sport dark shoulder-length hair dos, and their sturdy trunks and slender arms fold and fit together with almost Escher-like geometry. Round suns, oversized flowers, and warm-climate plants like palm leaves and cacti are most frequently alongside the women, creating visual touch points and a suggestion of narrative in the otherwise flat fields of background color. Berger explains that she studied theater performance and design, and pursued painting as a personal practice, teaching herself and developing her style on her own. She shares with Colossal,
Finding my current style has been a gradual process that’s evolved over several years of working full time at painting. It’s always changing, though I feel a bit more settled in lately and I think the changes are maybe happening in slower, more subtle ways now. I think styles continue to evolve with the changes in our own selves and lives—the things that happen in our inner world and our outer experience both play a part; getting older affects creative work as we see new things and grow as people.
Berger’s work in on view through December 22, 2018 in her solo show at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, CA. You can see more of her in progress and finished art on Instagram, and purchase original works, as well as prints, on her website.