Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 23, 2006 Fred Berger Passes Away

Fred Berger, renouned artist from Chicago, has passed away. In the grand tradition of allowing our best artists to languor in obscurity, Fred was one of the all time great figurative artists in our lifetime. Fred was born in Chicago, Illinois in September 24, 1923; he was able to attend the Art Institute of Chicago for a short time and resumed his studies at the Institue of Design. He was influenced early on by abstract expressionists such as de Kooning and Pollock. In regards to his non objective work Fred was asked how he felt about the canvas itself at that time. Fred said he had simply viewed it as a rectangle or square, not as a window, explaining, "I would call attention to the integrity of the surface, but in the final anaalysis, I was more interested in imagery... imagery was paramount." Fred painted and exibited regularly up through the sixties when he
decided to return to school. Completing a bachelor of science degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952, Fred contiued to paint in his spare time. Through the 60's and 70', Fred work grew more representational, resulting in imagery that Fred felt was the right and natural progression of his art. To many of us, this was the work we looked to when we sought out Fred. I met Fred at the American Academy of Art in the early 80's where he was a life drawing instructor. His class was where the serious students could be found. Small in stature but big in heart, Fred always had a kind word and rarely failed to inspire. His figurative work is some of the best ever produced. When asked, the conservator in the drawing room at the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago said that Freds work would be looked at studied for years to come. I will always marvel at the upbeat nature Fred always seemed to have. His circumasances later in his life were hard, but you would not have known. Fred had the great fortune to keep his sharp mind right up to the end. The fun in talking with Fred was never know where the conversation was going to go as his interests were far and wide. Thank you Fred for all you have given us. You will be missed very much. (First image shown is A Flower, A Child, Will they Grow 84"x72", Copywrite owned by the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fred considered this one of his very best works.) -Steve


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this guy is GREAT! Does he have a web site? Really fantastic!

9:32 AM  
Blogger hoffman, steve and....henry said...

Alas, there is no web site at this time. I hope to have one up in the near future. His work really is wonderful and deserves to be seen!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zaa. This dudes good. Get up a web site now!!!

10:59 AM  
Blogger G R I G O R said...

I love this guys work - I was tought by his students Bruno Surdo and Mike Chelich -

1:22 AM  
Anonymous eric chavkin said...

I own two of his works from the 50s monster period. A head portrait and someone rising from a grave. Are you related to berger? eric

10:08 PM  
Blogger Loredo Sola said...

Fred should have a website. i grew up in Fred's apartment building. I recall seeing his paintings when I was 10-11 years old. . He was a great chess player. His imagery especially in "He was one of us" still resonates in my shadow.

2:08 AM  

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