Stern Gallery, Tel Aviv
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Masha Berman (2015)

The Eye of the Storm

In the eye of the storm there is room for only one: Masha Berman, on account of the fact that in Masha’s total world there is no “we” but only “I”. Beneath her expressive style underlies a deep knowledge of painting and art history, as can be expected of a graduate of the Soviet tradition of art studies. Her paintings expose her stormy character and extreme moods.

Masha Berman died of cancer in 2013 at the premature age of 63. She clung to her paintbrush till the very end, as to a lifebelt. Masha was a very private person, disconnected from the art scene, although her charismatic personality attracted many. Nevertheless, she remained reserved, believing that her art represented her better than any words could. Only towards her end did she open a window to her private world, in a video, initiated by curator Doron Polack.

In reaction to the influence of the Soviet regime in which she was raised and the strict regime of the Art Academy in Leningrad, in which she studied, Masha chose rebelion as a way of life. Thus, she turned her back on social and artistic norms and led a wild life. Freedom is the prominent theme in each of her paintings. She ignores the rules of composition and colour, never erasing, just adding more and more layers of paint that respond to a state of mind or soul.

Masha’s father, Gedalia Berman, was a renown artist in the Soviet Union, famous mainly for his work creating backdrops for the theatre. Masha was very influenced by him, after spending many hours with her father in the theatre. It seems that the fantasy, unreal world, and the dramatic atmosphere she experienced as a chilld left their mark on Masha as an adult artist.

Stern gallery is proud to introduce this wonderful artist to the public.