Drawing from both lived experience and astute observation of Toronto landmarks, Stefan Berg’s paintings serve as portals into the artist’s reflections on his surrounding environments.
For Raymond Moriyama 1929 – 2023United Contemporary is pleased to present Twin Tunnels, a new series of paintings by Stefan Berg. Approached through an autobiographical lens, Berg’s process combines direct observation with recollections from memory, producing paintings over extended durations of time. For Berg, the works transcend mere looking; they are about truly seeing and responding to evocative moments, landscapes, and interiors that resonate with him.
A number of paintings in Twin Tunnels depict recurring forms, either doubled or reflected. These compositions frame pathways: windows and corridors leading from one space to another. Whether painting outdoors or in his studio, Berg’s practice is influenced by the weather, necessitating a tempo for the shifting seasons.
‘Early Morning Interior’ draws inspiration from Christiane Pflug’s ‘Interior at Night’, while ‘Little Street’ alludes to Johannes Vermeer’s oeuvre. The visual connections became evident only after Berg began painting, initiated from life. ‘Toronto Reference Library’ illustrates the duration of Berg’s creative process. Having started the painting in 2015, he set aside his efforts on numerous occasions, returning to it in its various stages. For Berg, the revisiting of his paintings serve as a challenge to maintain a visible record of contemplation and the journey to discovery.
Twin Tunnels will be on view at United Contemporary from September 28 – November 11, 2023. The opening reception will take place on Friday, September 29 from 5-8pm.