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Tony Berlant

Tony Berlant has been creating his vivid metal collages since the early 1960s. Having been called "a painter who works with metal (and/or) a sculptor who creates with color, mark, and line...", Berlant combines a lyrical intensity with a fascination of surface. Metal TV trays, cookie tins, wastebaskets, etc., are cut up and transformed by Berlant into a complex palette from which color and pattern are selected as he "paints" his visions. Using steel brads to hold down the metal fragments, Berlant juxtaposes figuration with abstraction in quilt-like patterned compositions.

Found metal collage with steel brads on wood
61 x 49 inches

Zip Lock, 2001
Found metal collage with steel brads on wood
61 x 49  inches


Anthony Berlant, now at the tender age of 21, …evidences a surprising maturity and confident command of what he calls "Construction Paintings" in his first one-man show.  Jules Langsner, ArtNews, Summer, 1963

It might be called the marriage of constructivism and surrealism, for the work has alliances with both these traditions, yet it stands expressively independent of both. It is extremely interesting work. Hilton Kramer, The New York Times, October 6, 1973

The time is cut and nailed down in brilliantly orchestrated abstract arrangements. The design is fresh, the craftsmanship polished, and there is a quirky kind of beauty in this strong show. Grace Glueck, The New York Times, October 1, 1982

There's a tremendous amount of wit in Berlant's recycling and consequent confusion of the mass-produced with the handmade - plus a lot of rather mesmerizing information. Berlant is not afraid to let his work veer toward folk art on the one hand, or urban archaeology on the other, so pure is his control of his materials. Roberta Smith, The Village Voice, October 12, 1982

Tony Berlant's work mirrors the complexity of the man. He is both pure and worldly - insular about his own very clearly defined interests and cosmopolitan in his far reaching knowledge about art, its history in the      West, the East and assorted tribal cultures.  Josine Ianco-Starrels, LA Municipal Art Gallery catalog, Spring, 1987

The 54-year-old artist's newest works convince you the instant you look at them, that they're paintings.  In compact rectangles of shattered fragments, space seems to implode, disintegrating into a field of tingling, immaterial energy.  And that's an apt description of how Berlant's paintings work, sending charged impulses into your eyes in order to elicit responses that might not be seen but are intimately felt.  David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, July 13, 1995

In all Berlant's works, gracefully undulant cut lines in the cool and resistant metal set sensuousness against asceticism. In these pieced paintings, the brads dimple the metal surfaces as hand-stitching does quilts, and the stuttering repetition of the tiny nails, along with the complex patchwork of color, gives the slick surfaces a crackle of energy. Janet Koplos, Art in America, September, 1997

KLEIN ART WORKS    400 North Morgan Chicago, IL 60622    (312) 243-0400