Oil on Canvas
Born in the Netherlands, Berns was a talented draftsman who studied lithography in Holland and Paris. He moved in the direction of painting under the influence of abstract and surrealist artists Pierre Soulages, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, and Victor Vasarely, all of whom he personally knew in Europe. Berns went to New York in 1963 to teach at Pratt Institute of Art and Design. By 1965, he was creating sculpture with light bulbs and canvas.
In later years, he turned to highly detailed landscape painting, inspired by the hills of Northern Virginia where he spent his retirement. The two pastoral landscapes included in the Weaver Foundation Art Collection, 11:00 a.m. and Untitled, are from this later series.
Ben Berns was a much-admired member of the art faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Rebeca Fagg, one of his many students, continued on to a successful career in the arts. Her work is also Included in the Weaver Foundation Art Collection.
His work is in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Walker Art Center; The Corcoran Gallery of Art; Brooklyn College; the Wadsworth Atheneum; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNCG, among others.