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Europe by Rail Adrian Berg

Artist

Adrian Berg London, 1929 – 2011

Date 1966
Object type painting
Medium, technique tempera, acrylic and oil on canvas
Dimensions

102 x 102 cm

Inventory number MO.91.104
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Adrian Berg, who graduated from the Academy a year before the legendary class of David Hockney and his colleagues, kept working in his studio at Regent Park throughout the spectacular wave of Pop’s popularity in England, studying the scenery from his upstairs window. He lived there up to the mid-’80s, painting landscapes. Though no adherent of any fashionable trend, the singularity of his landscape analyses and cartographic paintings of bright colours and often mathematical organizing principles brought him great success: he was in contact with the leading galleries in London.
In the ’60s, Berg’s paintings, whether starting from maps or directly registering the elements of the park as seen from the studio window, were based on gridwork. In various units of the landscape divided into sections the same detail of nature may be seen, slightly modified. Berg analyses the genre layers of landscape painting. What counts is not the immediate sight but the profound relation between observation and physical reality. The same principles underlie the cartographic series as well. Each of the rhythmically arranged thirty six squares of Europe by Rail, a painting emphatically of an autobiographic nature similarly to the park scenes features the map of a large European town. Just like in the landscapes, the map details rendered in his objective, coolly subtle calligraphic style, Berg also analyses the formal elements of a traditionally evolved and fixed visual language.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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