For nearly two decades, Jonathan Berger’s practice has encompassed a spectrum of activity investigating three primary concerns: the archive as a constantly changing and living entity; the repurposing of the exhibition site, and how ideas and content are cross-pollinated therein; as well as collaboration as a shared experience of trust and belief. He maintains an interest in abstract and experimental forms of non-fiction, including embodied biography and portraiture, as they are rendered through the creation of large-scale, narrative-based exhibitions made from both constructed and found objects. Berger’s intensive investiture in creative communities has enabled him to create a web of relationships which, due to the collaborative nature of all of his work, threads together a diverse and wide-ranging group of participants.
Berger has presented solo installations at the Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; the Busan Biennial, South Korea; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Participant Inc., New York; Maccarone, New York; Frieze Projects, London; and VEDA, Florence, Italy. His collaborative and curatorial projects have been presented at venues including Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hebbel Theater, Berlin, Germany; The Queens Museum of Art, New York; Participant Inc., New York; and Performance Space 122, New York, among others. An Introduction to Nameless Love, Berger’s recent solo exhibition at the Carpenter Center for the Arts and Participant Inc. was widely hailed as one of the most significant contemporary exhibitions of 2019-20, garnering an enormous amount of attention and critical press. Half of that project is currently on view in The Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet As It’s Kept, in New York City. His most recent solo exhibition, The Store, was held at the Aspen Art Museum through the end of 2021; it was a hybrid environment that blurred the lines between retail, archive, and exhibition. Housed in what was formerly the museum store, the presentations throughout the project are in constant flux and often feature materials that are not for sale, directly obfuscating the retail business that was originally located on that site. From 2013–2016, Berger served as Director of 80WSE Gallery at NYU, where he mounted a wide range of major exhibitions and collaborative projects presenting the work of Ellen Cantor, Bob Mizer, Printed Matter, James “Son Ford” Thomas, Michael Stipe, and Vaginal Davis, among others. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University, and he lives and works in New York City and Glover, VT.