Tatiana Berg

Region: Northeast

We all know that there are stretcher bars (and—gasp!—a wall) lurking behind the canvas. That’s where I like to spend my time: the space unfolding behind, and sometimes before, the picture plane. That’s where I like to pitch my tent.

Currently, I am building three-dimensional stretchers that I also call “tents.” This name particularly pleases me since, after all, a real tent is just canvas stretched over a wooden framework, just like a painting. Cheerfully straddling abstraction and representation, they only barely suggest the possibility of a tent. They embody the fundamental properties of painting: building volume (pitching the tent), and creating the illusion of space (the interior of the tent). I view them as quintessentially paintings-about-paintings, but in a more fun and less stodgy-macho way than this moniker evokes.

The tents allow me to bring the formal interplay of shape, line, and color off the wall space and into our corporeal space, highlighting the physicality of the painting object, letting the viewer in on the magic of how painting is created.