María Berrío

Born 1982.
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María Berrío Biography

Born in 1982 in Bogotá, Colombia, Brooklyn-based Maria Berrio is a contemporary artist primarily known for her prismatic, large-scale paper collages. The artist completed her BFA at the Parsons School of Design in 2004, after which she received her MFA at the New York School of Visual Arts in 2007. Berrio’s work sees her filter memories of her childhood spent on a farm in Colombia, and her subsequent experience with migration, through the lens of her studio practice. Inspired by the history of Columbian art and literature, her work calls to mind the magical realism of Latin American artistic figures such as Gabriel García Marquez, Fernando Botero, and Ruben Darío, while also drawing aesthetic and spiritual parallels to international artists like Gustav Klimt and Hilma Af Klint.

Combining elements of mythology and craft, Berrio’s artistic process is painstaking. Beginning with a sketch, Berrio then layers unique segments of paper from places such as Nepal, Japan, Mexico and beyond overtop; often hundreds of layers thick, these innumerable pieces and layers of wafer–thin print paper are then combined with washes of watercolor, acrylic and pencil. A key feature of Berrio’s practice is the exploration of women's relationship with nature, specifically birds.Through her collaged portraits rife with natural imagery, Berrio alludes to triumph, freedom and transcendence of the human soul into other earthly forms.

Recently the subject of the major survey exhibition at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, María Berrío: Esperando mientras la noche florece (Waiting for the Night to Bloom), Berrío’s work will soon be featured in the upcoming exhibition Women Painting Women at The Modern in Fort Worth from 15 May–25 September 2022 and in A Natural Turn at The DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, opening in September 2022. Her work is held in the permanent collections of a number of prestigious institutional collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, Perez Art Museum in Miami and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

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