Helen is a painter creating work with great charm and a distinctive sensibility.  Her paintings reveal a love of color and the joy she finds in the world around. The images are realistic – landscapes, interiors, still lives – but rendered with flattened perspective and a wealth of detail. Helen’s paintings may strike a first-time viewer as having a “naïve” quality, but on close inspection they reveal the trained eye and hand of a mature artist.

Helen Berggruen was born in San Francisco in 1945. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1967 from Sarah Lawrence College, where a good friend was novelist Alice Walker (class of ‘65).  Berggruen is quoted in the biography Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn C. White (2004), discussing a summer when she and Walker worked with the rural poor in Alabama. Berggruen credits their friendship with developing her strong social consciousness.

The artist’s original passion was the theater. From 1971 to 1974, she studied with director Robert Wilson’s “Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds,” an experimental performance group in New York.

Helen also painted.  Her talents led many – including her father, Heinz, the renowned art dealer and collector – to encourage her to pursue art seriously. Helen followed this advice and shifted her direction. By the late 1970s, she was a fully committed visual artist. Through the ensuing decades, Helen has been painting and exhibiting in the United States and Europe. She currently lives in the Napa Valley, and also spends part of each year in Iowa, with both regions providing inspiration.

BORN

1945    San Francisco, California

EDUCATION 

1963-7 Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, BA

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020    Coming Home by Helen Berggruen, Markham Winery, St. Helena, CA

2018     Interiors.Exteriors, Villa Francke, Potsdam, Germany

2017     Interiors/Exteriors Galerie de l’Arcade, St. Clar, France

2016     Time & Tempo, Marsac, (Tarn et Garonne), France

2015     Christie’s South Kensington, London, UK

2014     Dialogues, Galerie Deschler, Berlin, Germany

2013     A Restless Harmony, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, California

2013     The Open Window: Objects, Rooms & Landscapes, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

2010    Helen Berggruen: Itinerant Regionalist, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2009    House and Home, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

             Haus und Landschaft (“House and landscape”), Galerie Mutter Fourage, Berlin

2007    I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

2006    Elkader Art Center, Elkader, Iowa

2004    I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

2003    Galerie Mutter Fourage, Berlin, Germany

2002    Le Monde de l’Intérieur, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

2000    Paintings From France and England, I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

1999    Recent Paintings, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

1997    Berggruen & Zevi Ltd., London, England

1996    Recent Paintings, I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

             Vehicules a Paris, Alliance Française, San Francisco, CA

             Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

1993    Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

             Recent Paintings, I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

1987    Watercolor + Printed + K488 + 108 Squares, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1985    The Diner, Yountville, CA

1984    John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1983    The Diner, Yountville, CA

1981    The Diner, Yountville, CA

1975    Napa Valley Theater, Yountville, CA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018     Wonderwomen, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2018     Project Peace, Galerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

2017     History Becomes Art, St. Helena Historical Society, St. Helena, CA

             18 Fischbach Gallery

2016     Think Big, Fischbach Gallery

              The Endless Summer, Fischbach Gallery

              In Plain Sight/Hindsight, Fischbach Gallery

2015     The Flower Show, Fischbach Gallery

2012    Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2010    Summer Reading, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2009    Everyone Loves Good News, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

2006    Midwestern Visions, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, IA

2005    Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, IA

2003    Color Form & Figure, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2002    Season Ticket, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

2001    Contemporary American Realism III, M.A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, OK

1997    Ornament & Landscape, Apex Art, New York, NY

1996    Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

1995    Summer, Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

             Twenty-five Years, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1994    Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

             Images Gallery, Toledo, OH

1994    I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

             San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

1993    Fischbach Gallery, New York, NY

             Steven Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

             Self Portraits, Edith Caldwell Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1992    Works on Loan from the John Berggruen Gallery, I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

             I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA

1991    Napa Valley Museum, Yountville, CA

             Steven Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

             Louis Stern Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

             Oberon Gallery, Napa, CA

1990    J. Noblett Gallery, Boyes Hot Springs, CA

1988    Works on Paper, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1984    Gallery Madison 90, New York, NY

COMMISSIONS

1998    Bridges of Napa Valley, Napa Valley Heritage Fund, CA

1996    Tomatina, triptych for Real Restaurants, St. Helena, CA

1988    Tra Vigne Banquet Room Series, St. Helena, CA

COLLABORATION

1997    A Passing Reference, watercolor, engraving, and type, with writer and printer, Emily McVarish, London

1990    108 Squares with letterpress printer, Emily McVarish, Yountville, CA

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Ms. Toni Atkinson, Colorado

Ms. Nancy Baker, New York, NY

Mr. Richard Barr, New York, NY

Mr. & Mrs. John Berggruen, California

Beringer Vineyards, St. Helena, CA

Mr. and Mrs. John Bryan, California

Mrs. and Mrs. Klaus and Ulla Bölling, Berlin, Germany

Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Carroll, New York

Cedar Rapids Art Museum, Iowa

Chemical Bank of New York

Commerce Bancshares, Missouri

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Ford Coppola, California

General Electric Company, Connecticut

Ms. Maggy Geiger, New York

Mr. Chan Gordon, North Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Grace, St. Helena, CA

Ms. Victoria Hochberg, Los Angeles, California

Kaplan McLaughin Diaz Architects, San Francisco, CA

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lorch, Pennsylvania

Mustards Grill, Yountville, CA

Ms. Elizabeth Owens, California

Mr. Paul & The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Edward E. Robbins, Florida

Mr. F. Dan Scrimger, Toronto

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Shapiro, Vermont

Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri

Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Smith, Texas

Mr. Peter Vermilye, Massachusetts

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wilson, California

Tra Vigne, St. Helena, CA