Cups: Margot Bergman

November 19 - 30, 2020

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to introduce a special group of works on paper by Margot Bergman, created between the 1980s – 1990s.


Historically, teacups and other tabletop vessels have been depicted as static objects within a still life composition. In Bergman's works, the common cup is recast as the subject. Each cup is packed with its own unique personality, bursting with joy and motion. No longer relegated to the background, these wild forms dance with bold color and individualized adornments.


Bergman (b. 1934, lives and works in Chicago) began painting cups in the mid-1980s. At that time, she was enmeshed with gouache on paper abstractions. Creating the cup paintings offered a pressure release. Finding herself with extra paint and stashes of paper at the end of the day, Bergman made these spontaneous irrepressible paintings. The way the handmade paper is torn (sometimes from existing paintings) underscores the urgency and excitement palpable in these works.


What began as an extension of her practice became a crucial component. The energy of the day's work spilled into this other body of work, opening up a pathway that made her expression with paint more free. In hindsight, both the artist and viewer can recognize this series as an important bridge to her portraits of women, which have become the mainstay of her practice in recent years.


Online Exhibition Only.