"The Minimalist Years, 1960-1975," an exhibition of works by American artist Jo Baer, brings together some twenty paintings and a number of drawings and prints produced in the years she lived in New York City. The exhibition, Baer's first solo museum exhibition in the United States since 1975, will be on view from September 12, 2002, to June 15, 2003. A reception will be held on September 10 from 6 to 8 pm.
The exhibition includes a number of Baer's early works, which address the relations of pictorial edge and field and of color and composition, plus more experimental works from the mid-seventies, which explore questions of flatness versus volume, frontality versus multiple vantage points, and objecthood versus illusion.
Baer has characterized her paintings of the 1960s and early 1970s as hard-edge and concerned greatly with color. However, as critic Lucy Lippard noted about her work in 1966, "the mood is more romantic than factual." In some works a square white expanse in the central area of the painting is framed by a thin band of color-for example, turquoise, lavender, blue, mustard-reiterated with black. The strip of color serves to mediate the dichotomy of black and white and animate the relationship of field and frames. Often, Baer's use of paint is not contained by the frontal boundaries of the canvas. In some works, stripes, bars, and arcs of paint cling to the sides or top of the canvas, breaking with the frontality conventional to modular painting, to explore multiple vantage points and to flirt with situation and context.
Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1929, Baer attended the University of Washington and later the New School for Social Research, where she studied perceptual psychology and philosophy. Baer's early works established her solid reputation as an important force in Minimalist art. Following her first solo show in 1966, she participated in Documenta IV in Kassel, Germany (1968), was awarded an artist fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1969), and was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York (1975). In 1978 and again in 1986, Baer had retrospectives at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, followed in 1999 by a major retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Critic and curator Mark Godfrey will lecture on Jo Baer's art this season as part of Dia's Robert Lehman Lectures on Contemporary Art. The lecture will take place at Dia's exhibition facility at 548 West 22nd Street on Thursday, February 20, 2003, at 6:30 pm. For more information the public should call Dia at 212 989 5566.
Support for this exhibition has been provided by Lannan Foundation, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund, and the members of the Dia Art Council.
Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation-of which Dia Center for the Arts is a part- was founded in 1974. Dia plays a vital role among visual arts institutions nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a primary locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. In addition to presenting exhibitions and public programming at Dia Center for the Arts Dia maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island. In May 2003, Dia will open Dia:Beacon, a new museum in Beacon, New York, to house its renowned collection of American and European art of the 1960s and 1970s.
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