Tom Berenz Solo Exhibition at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters
March 18, 2016 - May 8, 2016
James Watrous Gallery 201 State Street, 3rd Floor Overture Center for the Arts Madison
Tom Berenz: Towards the North
“I explore the in-between space that is neither real nor artifice, still-life nor landscape, natural nor artificial, messy nor clean, flat nor deep, and dynamic nor static.” -Tom Berenz
Tom Berenz's current paintings combine recognizable bits and pieces from ordinary life--playground equipment, mittens and hats, ducks and strawberries--with swaths of color and pattern, piling them together into tight compositions that he calls mounds. Jumbled and disconnected, the busted-up objects in these mounds may be broken, but they are full of life and color. Berenz locates a kind of forlorn beauty in things like melted snowmen, crumpled birthday cakes, or the splintered parts of a plywood "gardening grandma" figure. Folding these random, discarded objects into swirling piles of sharply defined colored shapes, he exploits the tension between realism and abstraction to create taut, dreamlike scenes that tug at the imagination.