Eugene Berman Bio

La Petite Fortune, 1942

24 x 15 inches | oil on canvas

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Russia, Eugene Berman is known for his imaginary landscapes and architectural conceits. He is also recognized for his Baroque-like stage set designs for the likes of the Metropolitan Opera. A leader among the Surrealist and Neo-Romantic artists, Berman focused on the expression of emotion, loneliness and human isolation that emerged between the World Wars. Trained in Paris, and influenced directly by the works of Pierre Bonnard, Berman was drawn to the U.S. by the legendary dealer Julien Levy and exhibited alongside Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and a young Howard Warshaw. Inspired by imaginary worlds created by Hollywood, Berman lived in Los Angeles for almost ten years during which time he enjoyed the patronage of the legendary collector Wright Ludington. Berman’s work is held by many significant museums and has been featured in solo exhibitions including 2005's High Drama: Eugene Berman and the Legacy of the Melancholic Sublime. In 1957, Berman retired to Rome after the death of his wife, actress Ona Munson

Videos

6:05 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for THE ART OF SANTA BARBARA: 1875-2016, 2016

4:02 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for L.A.'s RISEN, 2011

More Information

COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox, Buffalo, NY
American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Baltimore Museum of art, Baltimore, MD
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford, CA
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbur, OH
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, FL
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CA
De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Fogg Art Museum - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Gallery of Surrealism, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Wanshington, DC
Lakeview Museum of Arts, Peoria, IL
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera Archives, New York, NY
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, GA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Burlington, VT
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Southhampton Art Gallery, Southamtpon, IT
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
Vassar College Musem, Poughkeepsie, NY
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VG
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of art, Hartford, CT
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, MO
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

 

 

CHRONOLOGY

1899 Born in Moscow, Russia, son of Gustave and Lydia Berman
1906 Father Gustave dies; mother remarries wealthy Moscow banker
1908 Attends school in Switzerland, France and German. Travels summers
1918 Leaves Russia, visits Finland and England
1919 Studies art and architecture
1920 Studies at the Acadamie Rancon with Bonnard, Vuillard and Vallotton.
1922 Makes first trip to Italy to study architecture
1924 Exhibition-with Berard, Tchelitchew and Berman's brother Leonid.
1928 Repeated travels to Italy where he studies paintings of the Renaissance masters.
1928 First Solo Exhibition, with Galerie l'Etoile in Paris
1930 Works with French architect Moret, in Italy is influenced by Veronese, Tiepolo & Guardi.
1932 First Solo Exhibition in U.S. with Julian Levy in New York
1933 Spends time in Versailles & at ruins near Les Baux. Begins Apollo and Daphne Series
1935 First trip to United States
1936 Begins era of Theater design with scenery for Hartford Music Festival
1937 Executes Murals for James Thrall Soby
1938 Travels to California for first time
1938 Murals for Wright Ludington, Santa Barbara, CA
1939 Stage Designs for Hartford Music Festaval
1940 Travels through and paints the Arizona desert
1943 Decor for Romeo and Juliet at Metropolian Opera
1944 Solo Exhibition at Art Institute of Chicago
1944 With Stravinsky & Balanchine designs Canses Concertantes for Ballet Russe
1947 Receives Guggenheim Fellowship for Southwest Tour
1948 Exhibits for first time with Knoedler Gallery
1949 Marries Ona Munson, actress most known for Belle Watling role in Gone With The Wind
1949 Receives Guggenheim Fellowship for Mexico Tour
1950 Travels to Italy
1951 Decor of Rigoletto for Metropolitan Opera
1954 Decor for Barber of Seville for Metropolitan Opera
1955 Artist's wife, Ona Munson, commits suicide
1956 Publishes Imaginary Prommenades in Italy
1957 Decor of Don Giovanni for Meteropolitan Opera
1957 Returns to live in Rome where he remains for the rest of his life.
1963 Returns to U.S. to renew citizenship
1963 Elected to American Academy of Arts & Letters
1965 Visits Egypt
1966 Decor for Stravinsky's Renard
1969 Visits Leptis Magna and Tripolitania (Western Libya)
1971 Dies in Rome, Italy on December 14.

EXHIBITIONS

2006 Sullivan Goss, Santa Barbara, CA

2005 "High Drama: Eugene Berman...", Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

1998 Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

1984 Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

1974 University of Texas,

1968 Galleria d'Arte "Il Fauno", Torino, Italy

1966 Forum Gallery, New York, NY

1965 Knoedler Gallery, New York, NY

1963 Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ

1960 Lefevre Gallery, London, England

1959 Knoedler Gallery, New York, NY

1954 Knoedler Gallery, New York, NY

1950 Instituto de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1949 Knoedler Gallery, New York, NY

1947 Knoedler Gallery, New York, London, Paris

1947 Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1944 The Decker-Flynn Galleries, Los Angeles

1942 Institute of Modern Art, New York, NY

1941 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, NY

1939 Galerie Montaigne, Paris, France

1939 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1939 Julian Levy Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

1938 Galerie Montaigne, Paris, France

1937 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1937 Galerie Renoie et Colle, Paris, France

1936 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1935 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1935 Zwemmer Gallery, London, England

1933 Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Illinois

1933 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1933 Galerie Pierre Colle, Paris, France

1932 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, New York

1929 Galerie des Quartre Chemins, Paris, France

1929 Balzac Gallery, New York, New York (With brother Leonid and Jean Hugo)

1929 Galerie des Quatre Chemins

1929 Galerie Bonjean, Paris, France

1928 Galerie de l'Etoil, Paris, France

1927 Galerie Katia Granoff, Paris, France

1926 Galerie Druet, Paris, France (With brother Leonid, Tchelitchew, Berard)
 

Back To Top