Sharon Butler interviews painter Emily Berger on the occasion of the recent exhibition Emily Berger: Rhythm and Light at Walter Wickiser, New York, and Emily Berger: New Paintings at Norte Maar, Brooklyn (through November 19).
Berger comments: "From my earliest complete and semi-presentable paintings I’ve been a grid painter. I like the structure and the flatness, but then I have always messed that up with markmaking, layering, gesture. I approach making a painting like an abstract expressionist in that I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen and the painting is an arena for action, but it’s structured and controlled, restrained by the format of the horizontal strokes. The painting comes from the process. I love accidents and the effects of chance; I work with them, so there’s a back and forth between chance and control."