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Jonathan Berger
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Jonathan Berger, Bell Machine, 2016. Proposal for the High Line Plinth. Commissioned by High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Photo: Timothy Schenck.

For nearly two decades, Jonathan Berger's practice has encompassed a spectrum of activity investigating three primary concerns: the archive as a constantly changing and living entity; the repurposing of the exhibition site, and how ideas and content are cross-pollinated therein; as well as collaboration as a shared experience of trust and belief. He maintains an interest in abstract and experimental forms of non-fiction, including embodied biography and portraiture, as they are rendered through the creation of large-scale, narrative-based exhibitions made from both constructed and found objects. Berger's intensive investiture in creative communities has enabled him to create a web of relationships which, due to the collaborative nature of all of his work, threads together a diverse and wide-ranging group of participants. 

Berger (b. 1980, New York, NY) has presented solo installations at the Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; the Busan Biennial, South Korea; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Participant Inc., New York; Maccarone, New York; Karma, New York; Grimm-Rosenfeld Gallery, New York; Frieze Projects, London; Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR; and VEDA, Florence, Italy. His collaborative and curatorial projects have been presented at venues including Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hebbel Theater, Berlin, Germany; The Queens Museum of Art, New York; Participant Inc., New York; and Performance Space 122, New York, among others. An Introduction to Nameless Love, Berger’s most recent solo exhibition at the Carpenter Center for the Arts and Participant Inc. was widely hailed as one of the most significant contemporary exhibitions of 2019-20, garnering an enormous amount of attention and critical press. His current project, The Store, at the Aspen Art Museum through the end of 2021, is a hybrid environment that blurs the lines between retail, archive, and exhibition. Housed in what was formerly the museum store, the presentations throughout the project are in constant flux and often feature materials that are not for sale, directly obfuscating the retail business that was originally located on that site. From 2013–2016, Berger served as Director of 80WSE Gallery at NYU, where he mounted a wide range of major exhibitions and collaborative projects presenting the work of Ellen Cantor, Bob Mizer, Printed Matter, James "Son Ford" Thomas, Michael Stipe, Vaginal Davis, Susanne Sachsse, and Xiu Xiu, among others. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University, and he lives and works in New York City and Glover, VT.

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Jonathan Berger
The Store
Installation view at Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
December 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021
Photo: Carter Seddon

In collaboration with Eric Angus, Anonymous, Syed majid Ali, BODE, Carbondale Clay Studio, James Castle, Comme des Garçons, Cara Croninger, Damien Davis, Vaginal Davis, Dirt Floor Studios, The Eames Office, Etienne Feijns, Glenwood Springs Mountain Valley Weavers, Green River Project, Alisa Grifo, Lee Hale, Trygve Harris/Enfleurage, Hornvarefabrikken, Hustle Forward, Peter Ivy, Reina Katzenberger, Sister Corita Kent, KIOSK, Kite House Magoji, Katrina Lapenne, Leekan Designs, Little Rickie, Mamo, Yuki Matsuo, Ross Menuez/Salvor, Modern West Florals Co, Ted Muehling, Isamu Noguchi, Mr.Okumura, Meri Rachna, Ramdasha, Phillip Retzsky, Marco Romeny, Betty Roytburd, Paula Rubenstein, Rue St. Denis, Sabbathday Lake Shakers, Dean Sameshima, Peter Schumann, Biba Schutz, Pierfrancesco Solimene, Michael Stipe, Trae Story, Ting’s Giftshop, Julie Tolentino, Walter Van Beirendonck, Various Projects, Ko Verzuu, Jonathan Williams, and Yamabikoya

Jonathan Berger
An Introduction to Nameless Love, 2019
Tin, nickel, charcoal
Dimensions variable
Installation view at Participant Inc, New York
February 23 – April 5, 2020
Photo: Mark Waldhauser 
Co-commissioned and co-presented by The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and Participant Inc.

In collaboration with Mady Schutzman, Emily Anderson, Tina Beebe, Julian Bittiner, Matthew Brannon, Barbara Fahs Charles, Glen Fogel, Brother Arnold Hadd, Erica Heilman, Esther Kaplan, Margaret Morton, Richard Ogust, Maria A. Prado, Robert Staples, Michael Stipe, Mark Utter, Michael Wiener, and Sara Workneh

Michael Stipe with Jonathan Berger 
Volume 1, 2018
Published by Damiani and D.A.P.
Designed by Julian Bittiner

Produced collaboratively by Michael Stipe and Jonathan Berger, with designer Julian Bittiner, Volume 1 includes a focused presentation of 35 images, bringing together 37 years of Stipe’s practice of creating and collecting photographic materials, in addition to posing as a subject in the photographs of others. The book centers around his unconventional and deeply personal understanding of queerness, conflating figures in his own life with those in American history and popular culture. Throughout the book, the formal qualities of images often relate in a poetic or lyrical way, allowing for unlikely juxtapositions and connections to emerge between subjects. These relationships transcend logical associations between time, place and social structures.

Jonathan Berger
Rendering of Bell Machine, 2016
Proposal for the High Line Plinth
Commissioned by High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Jonathan Berger
The Magic Flute, Part One: An Opera in 6 Steps
In collaboration with Michel Auder, Jesse Bransford, Vaginal Davis, Susanne Sachsse, Michael Stickrod, Xiu Xiu, and undergraduate students from NYU’s Studio Art Program
Installation view at 80WSE Gallery, New York, NY
December 1 – December 5, 2015

Jonathan Berger
A Future Life
Installation view at Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR
February 12 – March 12, 2016

Jonathan Berger
New Sights, New Noise
In collaboration with Michael Stipe, and including contributions from Jesse Adwar, Christina Blue, Stephanie Bow, David Bransfield, Yoon Choi, Nora Chuff, Douglas Coupland, Jefferson Hack, Autumn Hamra, Ira Dae Young Kim, Dorothy Lam, ZiHong, Devin McNulty, Daniel Mock, David Muñoz, Peaches, Paula Rondon, Dean Sameshima, Jerry Seguin, Taryn Simon, Alyssa Steiger, Peter Valenti, Lizzie Wee, and Serina Wei.
September 30 – November 8, 2014
80WSE Gallery, New York, NY
Video credit: Hiroshi Sunairi – early elephant film 2014

Jonathan Berger
DEVOTION: Excavating Bob Mizer
Installation view at 80WSE Gallery, New York, NY
In collaboration with Billy Miller and Dennis Bell of The Bob Mizer Foundation
November 23, 2013 – February 15, 2014
Photo: Jeffrey Sturges

DEVOTION is the first major institutional solo presentation of Bob Mizer's work to be shown anywhere in the world. The exhibition is organized by Billy Miller and Jonathan Berger in collaboration with Dennis Bell of The Bob Mizer Foundation and students and faculty from the NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions. Bob Mizer was born in Hailey Idaho in 1922, relocating with his mother to Los Angeles in 1927 where he continued to live and work until his death in 1992. The exhibition presents 45 black and white and color photographs spanning the artist’s career. While Mizer is known primarily for pioneering what is now widely regarded as "Beefcake" photography, via his company the Athletic Model Guild (AMG) and his publication Physique Pictorial, this genre is only one of many that he pursued over the course of nearly 50 years of creative production.

Jonathan Berger
On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman (Vitrine #15: Quick-change costumes for Foreign Man/Elvis), 2013
Andy Kaufman's personal possessions, number map tacks, wood, metal, plexiglass
48 x 48 x 12 inches
(121.92 x 121.92 x 30.48 cm)
Installed at Maccarone Gallery, New York
January 12 – February 23, 2013
Photo: Jeffrey Sturges

Jonathan Berger
An Overture to Andy Kaufman, 2014
Frieze Projects, London

Jonathan Berger
Prologues, Epilogues, Thresholds: An Exhiibtion in Three Parts, 2007
With contributions by Carol Bove, Judith Dupré, Esther Kaplan, Mady Schutzman, David Serlin, and Jasmin Tsou
Published by Andreas Grimm Gallery
​Designed by Julian Bittiner

Contact

For more information, please contact Lauren Wittels at lauren@luhringaugustine.com.

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