Marit Berg’s artwork is literally the offspring of two very different modes of art-making. Her father taught printmaking for over 30 years and her mother was a Fulbright scholar abstract expressionist painter. Throughout her childhood, she traveled the world with them, attending museums and schools along the way. Although she grew up in the printmaking studio fascinated by the chemistry and machines used to create the work, she primarily thought of herself as a painter until five years after receiving her MFA when she took a position in the printmaking department of Tacoma Community College.
Since then, Marit has shifted between and often blended these disparate approaches. Her paintings are figurative, yet highly imaginative and seemingly spontaneous. They are lush, free-flowing, and imbued with symbolism. For her, the contrast with printmaking comes from the methodical investment the artist must make in a piece before they can see results. Teaching printmaking for the last 14 years at Tacoma Community College, has allowed her to dig deep into processes while focusing on craftsmanship and discipline. This unlikely pairing of approaches has resulted in paintings and prints that manage to feel both process-driven and magical at the same time.
Although Marit works in an expressive-realist style, she is not always concerned with representational space. Her work frequently features animals, the land, and the human form. She is interested in the delicate balance of life within the natural world, the relationships between species and how animals develop particular traits to thrive in their habitats. She balances a scientific view of the natural world’s order and classifications with mythological representations of animals as analogs for human behavior. She often deals with themes of predation, vulnerability, sensuality, isolation, and hierarchy inherent in both the animal kingdom and human societies.