(2 of 15)
oil on canvas, 72 x 80", 1989
One of the series of eight, "The Swimmer's Progress"
"Berman's 'Floating' paintings...allude to heroic nudes of the Italian Renaissance - the sense of flesh as the mortal envelope we all bear and ultimately slip. Yet her depicted flesh is both ghoulish and strangely beautiful. Just as flesh, along with air and water, compose life's basic substances, so does paint become flesh in its color, texture, and wetness. Indeed, the painting has the vehemence of abstraction...While the paintings seem to be ordinary portrayals, the extraordinary is everywhere -- especially the handling of light, color, and tone juxtapositions." --Susie Kalil, Catalog Essay for "Ellen Berman: Recent Paintings," Art Museum of Southeast Texas, 1989.