Shar Coulson + Richard Berman

27 March - 12 April 2020

Nüart Gallery presents, Between the Known and Unknown, a two person exhibition of new paintings by Shar Coulson and Richard Berman. The exhibition will run March 27th through April 12th. Please join us for a live aritst talk at 4pm on Friday March 27th by following this link:


Between the Known and Unknown is a two-person exhibition featuring new paintings by Shar Coulson and Richard Berman. Both artists work in abstraction driven by color-- Shar Coulson through lush interpretations of the natural world; Richard Berman through formal color fields with contemplative geometries and subtle tonal shifts. Both artists also create work that invites the viewer into an experience of mystery-- to slow down and allow the language of the paintings to gradually reveal itself.  


Shar Coulson is known for her verdant, natural dreamscapes with organic forms reminiscent of active bodies of water, soaring cliffs, animals in motion, and dynamic atmospheric conditions. Coulson uses intuitive and gestural line work and organic forms composed of a sophisticated and daring palette. Her work at once demands and defies interpretation-- though the process of discovering/imagining organisms and landscapes in the paintings is one of the great pleasures of viewing a Shar Coulson canvas. Coulson’s work is informed by both her classical training in figurative realism, as well as her successful first career as a graphic designer and executive creative director. Coulson lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. Her paintings are exhibited both nationally and internationally


For this series, Shar Coulson explores the numinous gap between the literal representation of nature and her intuitive understanding of nature. “I think of each painting as a visual poem,” Coulson writes, “inspired by the space between the wind and the water, the fauna and the flora.” The paintings encourage contemplation and curiosity--  they bypass the natural tendency toward quick categorization, and instead open up into more questions and a sense of mystery.



Richard Berman is known for his refined and subtle color field paintings. He paints spare panels with formal, graphic compositions of complex visual depth. The paintings are slow to reveal their form, with nuanced tonal shifts that gently direct the eye through the compositions. The colors are frequently so close in tone and value they seem nearly monochromatic, but upon closer inspection reveal layers of subtlety and movement. Berman was raised in New York but settled in New Mexico where he has maintained a studio practice since 1993. Early on, Berman attended the Music and Art High School in New York City, then the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and worked for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His work is featured in collections across the nation.

In this exhibition, Berman continues his exploration of mystery. The paintings open up slowly over time, inviting viewers to discover their own way into the quiet language of the work. “My ‘subject’ is mystery,” Berman says, really the paintings have “no subject, no object, no story, no theme.” But with their understated enigmatic motion: their color, nuance, and depth-- the paintings ask questions of the viewer and offer opportunity for inquiry.