Remnant States: Thomas Berding

May 13, 2016- September 10, 2016

Both the history of abstract painting with its encrypted images and performative character, and DIY aesthetics with its notions of reuse and reexamination of value, exert a constant pressure in my studio.

Screen-based symbols, informational diagrams, flow charts, and explosion views common in instruction and assembly manuals, as well as the insistence of material itself serve as both individual sources and larger organizational influences in my work. As these sources move into the language of painting, the identifying cues of these beginnings are often challenged. For the paintings do not aim to image something already settled, but to picture a world in a continual state of construction and disassembly. If a kind of wholeness or singularity appears what emerges is a tenuous peace within a field of remnants and surplus.

In total, the abstract impulse that drives my thinking is about hanging on to an edge of awareness that never settles into the wholly known and lives in a perpetual state between construction and deconstruction, representation and abstraction, addition and deletion. For all its apparent boldness, it is actually a very fragile thing.

01_Berding_Fortune Shredder_postcard_front (resized)
Thomas Berding (American, born 1962) Fortune Shredder, 2016, Oil, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas, 76″ x 70″ Courtesy of the artist