Michael P. Berman

photo of Michael P. Berman

Art gives form to the things we know, but cannot yet understand. Its symbolic structure allows us to approach complex ideas that would be lost under the weight of analytical language. Art can serve as a kind of incubator for nascent truths as they evolve a coherent meaning. Art can also elicit and galvanize the support of a larger community for complex ideas. -M.P.B.
Michael P. Berman’s classically executed black and white photographs participate and extend the tradition of western landscape photography. Berman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 for his work Grasslands: The Chihuauan Desert Project. Photographs from this project was published in 2009 in the book Trinity, by The University of Texas, Austin. Trinity is the third book of the border trilogy, The History of the Future, with the writer Charles Bowden. In 2008, the Lannan Foundation organized an exhibition, also titled The History of the Future, of photographs by both Berman and artist Julián Cardona, accompanied by an essay by Bowden. The exhibition traveled to the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008), the North Dakota Museum of Art (2009), Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (2009), Ohio Wesleyan University (2011), and Tulane University (2011). A selection from the show is now on view at the Nation Institute.
Berman was born in New York City in 1956 and later came west to Colorado College, where he studied biology. He subsequently received an MFA in photography from Arizona State University. Fifteen years ago he settled in southwestern New Mexico, where he now lives in the Mimbres Valley near San Lorenzo.
He wanders the border wild lands of U.S. and Mexico and works on the local issues—mining, grazing, wilderness, timber, water, growth and the border—that impact the land. Berman brings an awareness of the complexity of the biological world to the political and social dialogue of the West to his art, which he then uses as a catalyst to renew and heighten our perception of the land.
His photographs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum, Lannan Foundation, and the New Mexico Museum of Art. He has received Painting Fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Wurlitzer Foundation and his installations and paintings have been reviewed in Art in America, and exhibited throughout the United States.

Michael P. Berman elsewhere on Lannan.org

480 Plates: Installation by Michael P. Berman , (Art)
Michael P. Berman’s The Gila: Radical Visions/The Enduring Silence publication Gila Resources Inform , (Art)
Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts to Michael Berman , (Art)
Michael P. Berman , (Bios)
The History of the Future Travel and Advertising for Exhibition , (Art)
The History of the Future Exhibition , (Art)

Michael P. Berman around the Web

Michael Berman's website

Artworks



Rancho Uno Grasslands. Janos, Chihuahua, 2007

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Water Tank. Rancho Palomino, Chihuahua, 2008

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Birds. Janos, Chihuahua, 2007

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Open Door, El Nido, Chihuahua, 2008

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Salt, Steel, and Tar. Cornudas Mountains, New Mexico, 2008

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Storm. Chinati Grasslands, Marfa, Texas, 2007

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Macho Peak Looking North. Pinto Ranch, Texas, 2007

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment ink on etching paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Birds Janos Chihuahua Michael P Berman

Birds, Janos, Chihuahua, 2007

Size: 42 1/2 x 52 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment photograph

Current Lannan Art Collection

Crossings, Vopoki Wash, Arizona, 2008

Size: 45 x 52 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment photograph

Current Lannan Art Collection

Predators View Sierra Pinacate 2008 Michael P Berman

Predator’s View, Sierra Pinacate, Sonora, 2008

Size: 45 x 52 inches
Medium: Carbon pigment photograph

Current Lannan Art Collection