by David M. Roth
For more than 50 years, the LA-based artist has transformed found and fabricated pieces of tin into “paintings” that seamlessly annex large tracts of art history while retaining a signature look: a crazy-quilt cut-up of snippets affixed to panels with small brads. In 2009, after a trip to Aix-en-Provence, Berlant added yet another dimension to an already complex technique: photography. Previously, the artist used tracings of photographs as visual guides for his compositions, but the photos themselves were never visible. They are now, and they compete for our attention, exponentially increasing the surface tension in pictures that are bolder, wackier, more abstract and spatially more complex than anything he’s shown to date.