Berlin often returned to the image of figures sleeping, embodying what he referred to as his ‘floating dreams’. The Dreamers, a pencil drawing completed in 1987, echoes an earlier period in 1969 when he began a large number of mystical and religious works based on the themes of The Creation.
The dreams began as a boy after Berlin read the Turgenev ghost story Phantoms, reminiscent of a Gogol story called The Viy, both of which involved flying and floating over the landscape. He was also fascinated by the story of Icarus, as illustrated by Breughel, as well as Da Vinci’s notebooks and drawings reflecting his longing to fly.
The sculptural quality of this pencil drawing is particularly evident, yet it has a freedom and a pleasing spontaneity of line, his fascination with the power of women ever present.
It was, however, a time when Berlin was at low ebb and there were few sculptures - in 1987 just one. Nevertheless, that year he exhibited at Madeleine Ponsonby’s Roche Court near Salisbury, before her New Art Centre in Sloane Street, London moved there in 1993.
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