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Berman Evgeny Gustavovich
Painter, graphic artist, scene-designer Berman was born and educated in St. Petersburg. He was a younger brother of the artist L. G. Berman. In 1915–1918 Berman studied at private studios of the artist P. S. Naumov and the architect S. N. Grusenberg. In 1920 he emigrated and settled in Paris. Berman together with his brother studied at the Ranson Academy under P. Bonnard, M. Denis, F. Vallaton, and J.-E. Vuillard. At the same time he studied architecture and archeology. He visited Spain and Italy; he also studied under the architect E. Terry. Since 1923 Berman exposed his works at the Autumn Salon and the Salon des Tuileries. In 1926, together with his brother, P. F. Chelishev, K. Berard and students of Ranson Academy organized exhibition at the gallery Drouet. This exhibition marked the beginning of the neo-romantic trend in European painting. Berman held personal exhibitions at French galleries Granoff (1927), Etoile (1928), Bonjean (1929). In 1928 he participated in the exhibition The Modern French Art in Moscow, where he exposed 2 of his works: Landscape and Portrait of George de Chirico. In 1930s Berman lived in the south of France. He created a series of fantastic landscapes with ruins. In 1936 he visited the United States. He performed monumental paintings for the J. Sobey and J. Levy in New York. Berman designed the musical festival in Hartford (Connecticut). In 1937 Berman started to work in the field of scene-design. He designed the performances The Threepenny Opera by B. Brecht for the Theatre de L’Etoile in Paris. Later he worked as stage designer; he created scene designs for many productions of the Russian Ballet of Monte Carlo, Teaotro La Scala in Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Ballet Theatre in New York, including the ballets Tricks of the Devil by B. Tomasini (1939), The Baroque Concerto by Bach (1940), Romeo and Juliet by F. Delius (1943), Giselle by Adolphe Charles Adam (1946), operas Rigoletto by G. Verdi, Barber of Seville by G. Rossini and others. He was close friends with Russian artists and dancers, collaborated with S. Lifar, G. Balanchine and others. In early 1940s Berman made a tour of Italy and Switzerland. He held several personal exhibitions at Paris galleries. During 1932–1947 personal exhibitions of the artist were held at the Levy gallery in New York every year. In mid 1940s Berman moved to the USA; in 1944 he received American citizenship (according other information — in 1937). He gained fame as an author of fantastic landscapes with architectural motifs. In his works Berman combined the classical style of painting with deliberate inscrutability of plot and unexpected angles. In 1948 he visited Mexico, created a large series of landscapes, for which he was granted Guggenheim Fellowship. In early 1950s Berman lived in Italy for long periods, in 1956 he settled in Rome, where he continued to paint fantastic landscapes with ruins. In 1956 he published the album of drawings Imaginary Promenades in Italy. He held the personal exhibition in Buenos Aires (1950). Since 1964 he was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Berman belongs to the masters of so-called Russian emigration, whose art became more famous in Europe and America than in homeland. He is one of the founders of neo-romantic trend in art, which aimed to renew interest in figurative painting. Berman was influenced by P. Picasso’s blue and pink periods; he also was interested in the art of G. De Chirico and Salvador Dali. Works by Eugene Berman are in many museum and private collections now, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and others.
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