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Berger_Red Ghost_2018_oil on wood_30x24in_$3000

Syncopation at ODETTA Gallery

ODETTA is pleased to share Syncopation – Emily Berger and Bob Seng. Chance, improvisation within the tight constraints of a limited color palette, and their monastic approach to their chosen materials brings these two artists together in their first two-person exhibition.

Emily Berger’s paintings are based on a structure of repetitive and deliberate gesture that is intuitive but carefully considered. She brushes, wipes, rubs, and scrapes, incorporating the color, texture, and pattern of the wood supports, concealing and revealing underlying layers in various states of transparency and solidity. Working with, and against, whatever happens as she paints, from edge to edge exposes areas of the surface to create shapes. Chance is an essential element of her process; but setting the stage, Berger primes the wood in a clear primer so that even more texture will emerge as the brush stutters across the surface, creating vestigial verticals among the horizontals in unpredictable ways.

Robert Seng was born and raised in Seattle, served in the US Navy in Vietnam, and finished his BFA and MFA on the GI Bill.  He was a founder of Artech, Seattle’s premier art services company, to support his art career. A New York resident since 1986, Seng has worked at Artforum, the Guggenheim Museum and taught at Fairfield University while continuing his studio practice in painting and sculpture. 

 In the mid 1990’s Seng moved into site-specific installation work with collaborator Lisa Hein. Together they have made more than 40 projects with moving light, air, and water (http://heinseng.com  They share joint awards from NYFA, MacDowell and Yaddo.  Meanwhile in his own drawing practice, Seng continues to carve and scrape collages made from EXIT signs (  In these works, EXITs watch their own disintegration and transformation into what “safe” place might lie beyond the ubiquitous sign. These have been shown throughout the Americas, in group exhibits in places as Pierogi and Flipside in Brooklyn, Another Year in LA, the Painting International Biennial in Guayquil, Ecuador, and more recently in ODETTA in Chelsea,  Centotto in Bushwick, Talking Pictures in Bed-Stuy, and Sideshow in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

 The exhibition is ongoing through May 17, 2019




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