Leo Saul Berk, Untitled (Rope 2), 2013. Courtesy of the artist.
The Uncertainty of Enclosure presents sculpture, photography, and video that explore the impact of an architecturally iconic residence—Bruce Goff's Ruth Ford House in Aurora, Illinois—on the artist Leo Saul Berk. In this building, Goff utilized unconventional materials and extraordinary techniques to achieve forms reminiscent of nautical motifs, both natural (like nautilus shells) and manmade (such as sailor's rope). Perceptions of inside/outside, fluid/solid, curve/line, here/there shift and realign in challenging, ambiguous ways. Berk has created a body of work informed by his childhood experience at the home, his historical research, and his ongoing reflection on the house's pivotal role in the development of his artistic vision. This exhibition employs Berk's work as a springboard to investigate the transformative potential that architecture can have on the open, creative mind.
Born in 1973, Leo Saul Berk received a BFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1997 and an MFA from the University of Washington in 1999. Berk has had solo exhibitions at Lawrimore Project, the Lee Center, and Howard House in Seattle, cherrydelosreyes in Los Angeles, and the Bellevue Art Museum. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Galleri Erik Steen in Oslo, Edward Cella in Los Angeles, d.u.m.b.o. Arts Center in Brooklyn, Tacoma Art Museum, and California State University, Long Beach. Berk has received grants and awards from the Seattle Art Commission, Artist Trust (2010 Artist Innovator recipient), and 4Culture. His work has been widely published in numerous sources, including Art in America, Art Ltd., the Los Angeles Times, Modern Painters, the Seattle Times, the Stranger, and others. His work is in numerous public, private, and corporate collections. Berk lives and works in Seattle.
Exhibition curator Sara Krajewski is the director of INOVA at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. As curator at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington (2005–12) she organized the group exhibitions Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture (2010), The Violet Hour (2008), and Viewfinder (2007), as well as solo exhibitions with artists Matthew Buckingham, Walid Raad, Liz Magor, Steve Roden, Jeffry Mitchell, and Steve Rowell. Krajewski has held curatorial positions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Harvard Art Museum. In 2013, Krajewski was awarded a curatorial fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Founded in 1996, INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) presents contemporary art forms that reveal the complexity of culture today. Through exhibitions and programs, INOVA supports artists in research and experimentation, and invites a broad audience to reflect on the art and ideas of our time.