Ladder Painting No 1

Stephenie Bergman (1946 - )

Oil and dye on cotton duck


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© Stephenie Bergman

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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    Ladder Painting No 1 blurs the boundaries between two and three-dimensional space. The canvas is cut and sewn back together along its horizon line. The painted image draws the viewer’s gaze inwards with the ladder in the foreground, leading up to a partially rendered abstract geometrical wall hanging. Described as ‘a painter with a sewing machine’, Stephenie Bergman has worked her image with a range of techniques involving painting, dyeing, washing, stretching and sewing. The sewn strips of canvas create a sequence of frames within the picture, bringing attention to the final act of stretching the canvas onto its stretcher. Bergman subsequently abandoned this last step to allow her canvases to hang loose.

    Later, her work took on a more functional rhetoric as she produced pastiches of some of her own paintings, which she transformed into a series of aprons, equally at home on the wall or on the body.

  • About the artist
    Stephenie Bergman was born in London, where she studied painting at St Martin’s School of Art from 1963-67. She lived in America from 1969-72, and received a Gulbenkian Foundation Award from 1975-77. She has taught at Goldsmiths’ College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Bergman has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the UK and abroad, including the British Art Show (1979), Southampton City Art Gallery, and the Serpentine Gallery and Barbican Art Gallery. Initially known as a painter, Bergman now works primarily with ceramics. She currently lives and works in Taroudant, Morocco and Ollioules, France.
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  • Details
    Ladder Painting No 1
    Oil and dye on cotton duck
    height: 134.50 cm, width: 116.50 cm
    Purchased from Anthony Stokes, September 1979
    GAC number