Berta Burr's 9/13 is an 18 x 24 inch figurative sky scape in oils on canvas. Subtly lucid blue grays contrast with luminous white and pale gray, creating a weightless, drifting cloud, its edges translucent as it pulls toward denser white. Burr's delicate brushstrokes build contradictory senses of substance and motion, gently fixing the fleeting and ever-changing on her canvas. Focussing her keen eye and skillful brush on the shifting palette of just sky, devoid of any other landscape elements, Burr encourages us to stop, breathe, and take note of the ever-changing beauty of our world, as we perhaps once did as children, gazing upwards.
Burr says, "My painting is motivated by a need to view the world with a degree of detachment that allows for the possibility of beauty." Her sky scapes are a statement of calm in these chaotic times. Titles of these aerial works refer to the birth dates of dear ones, permeating her brushstrokes with loving intention.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Berta Burr grew up near the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox), which gave her early exposure to modern and contemporary art through its world class collection. Her interest in fine art was further nurtured at home where, as the daughter of an avid amateur artist, art materials were never in short supply.
Establishing a studio in 1967 with her husband Walter, an accomplished harpsichord maker, Burr worked as a harpsichord decorator specializing in 17th and 18th century styles, an exacting discipline which honed her skills as an artist. Work as a gilder and restorer has given her a rare and informed level of craftsmanship.
Since the early 1990s Burr's studio output has been directed toward original paintings in oil energized by her unique eye and training.