Jake Berthot


enamel and graphite on paper
30 x 22 1/2 inches

American artist Jake Berthot began exhibiting minimal, geometric works comprised of subdued colors in the 1960s. As time passed, his sense of geometry and color opened up to reveal active, organic compositions, further influenced by his move to upstate New York in 1992. Here, a lovely work from 1995 bears the subdued color palette of his earlier career combined with the energetic lines characteristic of his work from the mid-90s. The childlike drawing embodies any number of elemental shapes – human, plant, and letter forms all at once – and shows evidence of an artist grounded in abstraction, while deeply connected to the natural world. Berthot’s work is in numerous public collections, among them MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum.