Kim Berman

Kim Berman is a professor in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg(UJ) and is the Executive Director of The Artist Proof Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Berman is a hugely energetic person who is deeply committed to political and social transformation in South Africa. She uses printmaking as a vehicle to reflect on the social and political processes that surround her. She has the uncanny ability to take a neglected, peripheral landscape and to transform it into an image that not only comments on society but is also transformed into something beautiful and poignant.

Artists who work at The Artists' Press (A to L)

Artists continued (M to X)

New Editions

Kim Berman Alien Landscapes

Kim Berman archive


 Robben Island

"After a very long drought of making images, I was invited on a two-week artist residency in the pre-famine village of Cill Railaig in Ireland in August 2017 and fell in love with the exquisite landscapes with its ancient standing stones and traces of ancient villages drawn with stones. The well-known comment by Carl Jung in Man and his Symbols came to life in his understanding of the symbolic power of the stones as “the containers of the spirit of the life-force with all its mystery.  A short while before, I had visited Robben Island and was struck by the way the stones in the desolate scrub held the memory and trauma of the site.

The series of Robben Island became a kind of counter-point to the green and mystical Irish landscapes, in which both sets of images hold historical traces of trauma of political and personal violence in the stones. Robben Island, a name resonant with both extreme oppression and the humanity that birthed South African democracy, is infused with material fragments and symbolic voices of that hold the memory of human resilience. These monotypes are another way to explore the evocative memory traces in the landscape" .
Kim Berman, 2018


Title: By whose hand? Robben Island I
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: By whose hand? Robben Island II
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: SOLD


Title: By whose hand? Robben Island III
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: The stones remember, Robben Island I
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: The stones remember, Robben Island II
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: The stones remember, Robben Island III
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: SOLD


Title: The quarry of memory, Robben Island I
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: The quarry of memory, Robben Island II
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: SOLD


Title: Fragments, the stones remember, Robben Island I
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: R 6 500 (excl. VAT)


Title: Fragments, the stones remember, Robben Island II
Medium: Monotype
Size: 41.5 x 77 cm
Edition size: 1/1
Price: SOLD


Plantations

"The Plantation Lithographs are inspired by seemingly unrelated landscape images that I photographed around the time of the xenophobic violence in 2008. In June of the same year, rural areas close to the town of White River in Mpumalanga province were consumed by vast forest fires. It was necessary for farmers to revive their badly damaged exotic fruit orchards by drastically pruning the trees and painting them white with lime in order to protect the exposed bark from the sun and possible disease. For me the fields of white amputated trees in regimented rows visually enacted the predicament of the alien; the shameful, drastic marking and control of the other. Exploring this imagery through a range of visual art techniques offered me a way of processing and exploring both the fragility of South Africa's democracy, and of integrating and accommodating radical dislocation into a deceptively ordinary landscape.

In my work, landscapes have always provided a metaphor for South Africa's transitions as a country: even in a poisoned, burnt, or smoke-filled landscape, the light on the horizon sparks the energy and hope for the cycle of change and imperative of renewal. Both of these series are set in the winter of 2008: they speak of a stark, sterile, dry, cold, empty, white, regimented aftermath of earlier fire, violence and chaos. But winter is part of a cycle, and its moment does pass".
Kim Berman 2010

kim berman, kim berman prints, south african prints

Title: Stripped, Lowveld Plantation I
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Size: 57 x 76 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl. VAT)

Kim berman, kim berman artists, kim berman prints

Title: Stripped, Lowveld Plantation II
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Size: 57 x 76 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl. VAT)

Ponds

Title: Red Ribbons on a Pond I, KZN
Medium: Nine colour lithograph
Size: 50 x 66 cm
Edition size: 40
Price: R 4 450 (excl.VAT)

Title: Red Ribbons on a Pond II, KZN
Medium: Nine colour lithograph
Size: 50 x 66 cm
Edition size: 40
Price: R 4 450 (excl.VAT)

Fires

"Through the Wire Lowveld Fires" refers back to the series of that I have been working on using fire a smoke on as a metaphor for social change in South Africa. The fire symbolises a process of burning and purging to make way for new growth, while the smoke chokes and suffocates the truth.

The introduction of barbed wire in this series represents a barrier that recalls the symbolic landscape of apartheid. There is a tension between the transparent layering and political deception or betrayal of the broken promises of a "new South Africa".
Kim Berman, 2003


Title: Through the Wire: Lowveld Fire I
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Size: 57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 45
Price: SOLD OUT

Title: Through the Wire: Lowveld Fire II
Medium: Eleven colour lithograph
Size: 57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 45
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

Title: Through the Wire: Lowveld Fire III
Medium: Eleven colour lithograph
Size: 57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 45
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

Kim Berman uses this technique to start off many of her prints