Zeke Berman has been making singular, studio-based photographs since the late 1970's, when, while recording his sculptures, his attention turned from objects to images.   The formal range of his work, his inventive use of materials, such as string, clay and ice is varied, original and idiosyncratic. His photographs reflect a long-standing interest in the evolution of visual cognition, the deep mystery of optics, as well as finding an intersection between sculpture, photography and drawing. His recent “sculptural animations” - short looping films - offer the elements of temporal change and motion to his previously static still lifes. If an artist can be said to possess esthetic values, his would best be described as epistemological.

Writing in the New Yorker Magazine, Vince Aletti says:     Berman’s meticulously constructed, cleverly confusing, eccentric photographs echo Cubist collage and anticipate digital manipulation. Using simple materials, he introduces Braque to Jasper Johns in a fun house.

Berman’s work has been collected, exhibited and published widely by museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, Metropolitan and Whitney Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago. His awards include Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA and McDowell and Yaddo colony fellowships. 

          -All content on this website is © Zeke Berman and a product of Red Diaper Baby Productions.


Chief curator, Photography Department, Museum of Modern Art, NY 1962 - 1991

Photography’s first still life was a picture of a table set for a simple meal, made by Nicephore Niepce in about 1827 --years before the world even knew there was such a thing as photography. Daguerre made one 1837. Henry Fox Talbot was a little tardier, completing his his first before 1840. 

These all seem to me remarkably good and one might think that by now the problem might have been finally solved, or at least exhausted, but is, on the contrary full of life, as demonstrated by the work of Zeke Berman, Joan Fontcumberta, Lee Friedlander, Jan Groover and Abelard Morrel, as well as that of Irving Penn, the old master. The subject of the book.

From the introduction to a book of Irving Penn Still Lifes.

Selected Solo Shows

2016  “Zeke Berman, Studio Constructions, Photographs since 1979” Hamilton Gallery, UArts, Philadelphia, PA (formerly PCA, his art school)  -  with catalogue

2015  Julie Saul Gallery, NY

2007  Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT

1999  Laurence Miller Gallery New York, NY

1997  Institute of Contemporary Art , Main College of Art

1997  Portland Main Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

1997  Laurence Miller Gallery New York, NY

1995  Julie Saul Gallery, NY

1993  Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL

1992  University of Missouri Museum Kansas City, MO                                                                                (with catalogue)

1991  Friends of Photography, San Francisco, CA

1985, 1987, 1989, 1991  Lieberman & Saul Gallery, NY

1989  Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1989  Edwyn Houk Gallery, Chicago, IL

1983  The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH

1987  San Francisco Camera Works, San Francisco, CA

1986  The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1984  The Museum of Modern Art, Bern, Switzerland

Grants & Fellowships

1988  National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

1988  New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship

1984  Guggenheim Fellowship

1980  Creative Arts Public Service Fellowship

1999, 2000  Yaddo Colony Residency, Saratoga Springs, NY

1987/88/91/92/93  MacDowell Colony Residency, Peterborough, NH

2018 Residency at The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Amherst, VA

Selected Group Shows

2018 D. I. Y.  Julie Saul Gallery, NY

2018 Eighty @ Eighty,  Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA

2017 A History of Photography: Selections from the Museum’s Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

2016 MoCP at 40   The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Il

2015 U of NM Gallery, Albuquerque, NM,   From Rembrant to Pollack to Atget: Celebrating a Collection. 

2014 (un) real Abstraction in Contemporary Photography Maddox Art Gallery, London, UK

2014 A world of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio        Museum Of Modern Art, NY

2014 Abstraction in Contemporary Photography, Maddox Arts Gallery, London, UK

2013 Museum Of Modern Art, NY Selections from the Permanent Collection

2013 Artists EvolvedMusic and Art HS class of 1969

2012 Artists choice: Rebus, Vic Muniz, Museum Of Modern Art, NY

2011/12 Museum Of Modern Art, NY Selections from the Permanent Collection

2011 Mud Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

2010 Milwaukee Art Museum, Selections from the Permanent Collection

2010 Pencil of Nature, Julie Saul Gallery, NY

2010 Making it Up Packer Colligate Institute, Brooklyn, NY

2009 Flower Power Herter Galler, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA

2008  International Center of Photography< NY

2008  Laurence Miller Gallery, NY

2007 Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, NY, Seeing Things

2002  The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY Visions From America, Photographs from the Museum Collection 1940-2001
(with Catalogue)

2001  Museum of Modern Art,  NY, Open Ends Contemporary Art from 1960 to Now

2000  The Art Institute of Chicago Conceptual Photography, Colin Westerbeck Curator

2000  American Perspectives  Photographs from the Poporoid Collection

1980–1999  Museum of Modern Art, NY Installation of the Permanent Collection

1999  The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, “Photography’s Multiple Roles” (with catalogue)

1993  Museum of Modern Art, NY "Multiple Images"

1992  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

1993  Museum of Modern Art, NY  "More Than One Photography”

1990  Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC

1990  The Museum of Modern Art, NY, "Photography Until Now"

1999  The Los Angeles County Museum Of Art, CA

1990  Vrej-Baghoomian Gallery, NY, "Grids"

1989  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY,  "Invention and Continuity in Contemporary Photography"

1989  The National Gallery, Washington, DC, "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow, 150 Years of Photography"

1989  The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, "The Photography of Invention"

1988  International Center of Photography, NY, "Fabrications"

1986  The Whitney Museum, Stanford, CT, “Photo Fictions”

1985  The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, "New Photography," #1

1982  The Museum of Modern Art, NY, "Still Lifes”

1982  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, "Counterparts"

1982  Seibu Museum, Tokyo, Japan "20th Century Photographs From The Museum of Modern Art"

1980, The Museum of Modern Art and curator John Szarkowski, begins collecting and exhibiting work over the following 10 years. 

 Selected Collections

The Museum of Modern Art, NY

The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

The Guggenheim Museum, NY

The Brooklyn Museum, NY

The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA

The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Chase Manhattan Collection, New York, NY

Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, MO

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.

The Progressive Corporation Collection, Mayfield Village, OH

Selected Publications

2000  Open Ends Catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, NY

1999  Blind Spot Magazine, Issue 14

1998  Graphis Fine Art Photography #2

1998  Blind Spot Magazine, Issue 11

1997  The Art Institute of Chicago: “The Essential Guide”

1997  Oxford History of Art, “The Photograph” by Graham Clark

1996  New Art on Paper 2, Philadelphia Museum of Art

1995  Graphis Fine Art Photography #1

1995  An American Century of Photography : From Dry-plate to Digital, Essay By Keith Davis, Hallmark Collection

1994  Blindspot Magazine, Issue 3

1990  “Photography Until Now” By John Szarkowski Museum Of Modern Art, NY

Selected Visiting Artist Progerams

Fordham University 2017 • Sarah Laurence College • Yale U. Summer Program, Norfolk, CT • Bard College • Yale University, Graduate School 1987 / 89 /90/ 92 • Amherst College • The School of Visual Art • Columbia College, Chicago -The Friends of Photography, San Francisco • Rhode Island School of Design • The Friends of Photography, Workshop • Art Center College of Design, Pasadena • Bard College • The Museum of Modern Art, NY, Fellows of Photography Lecture • Metropolitan Museum of Art International Center Photography, Still Life Workshop • Woodstock Center for Photography Still Life Workshop • Ohio Arts Council, Summer Media Institute, Athens,1990 / 1991 / 1992 • University of Chicago, Graduate Program • Art School of the Art Institute of Chicago • Maine Photographic Workshop • Massachusetts College of Art, Boston • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY • Syracuse University, NY

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