Myrna Burks is a painter and printmaker based in the East Village of Manhattan and Orient, Long Island. Burks studied lithography at the Tamarind Institute while earning her M.A. and M.F.A. at the University of New Mexico. Following graduate school, Burks taught printmaking and opened her own collaborative workshop in Portland, Oregon. After several years of specializing in lithography, Burks became inspired by the variety of technical possibilities of monoprint which led her to painting directly on canvas.
Burks’ paintings are part of the rich dialogue that she has with the world; they reflect her environment and channel the colors, forms and spaces that she sees. There are urban blues and maritime blues, pavement grays and barn grays, with the possibility of the red of a police siren or a sunset streaking through the sky. Burks’ does not begin with a preconceived image or theme; rather, she just starts, trusting what emerges. Often she uses collaged papers as something to work against/with to start the process. As she works, she watches what happens visually, reading for clues on how to proceed. For Burks, painting is a way of being very present, alert to the nuances of materials coming together.
Burks’ work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Solo exhibition highlights include shows at The Painting Center in New York, Davidson Gallery in Seattle, and Laura Russo Gallery. Group exhibition highlights include “New Prints 2003/Winter” International Print Center Invitational in New York, NY, and “Veerle Rooms in Dialogue” Exhibition of International Printmakers in Antwerp, Belgium. Her work is held in numerous collections, including the United States Embassy Collection, the University of New Mexico Museum, Georgia State University Museum, the New York Public Library Print Collection, Intel Corporation, and The New York Stock Exchange.