Jo baer: the risen / originals — at pace gallery

Jo Baer
The Risen / Originals
Pace Gallery
540 West 25th Street
New York
6 November – 19 December, 2020

The Risen will feature five of Baer’s Risen works, unprecedented Minimalist paintings originally created in 1960 and 1961 that were subsequently destroyed and then remade by the artist in 2019 from archival images. Originals brings together twelve works from 1975 through the present that reflect the artist’s departure from Minimalism towards a new, image-based aesthetic in her practice. Spanning nearly five decades, this presentation is the first time a survey of Baer’s image-based work has been exhibited in the U.S. Together, these exhibitions offer an overarching look at Baer’s prolific career that continues to defy categorization and has significantly influenced a younger generation of artists.

Jo Baer, Snow-Laden Primeval (Meditations, on Log Phase and Decline rampant with Flatulent Cows and Carbon Cars), 2020 © Jo Baer

For over five decades, Baer has relentlessly investigated the problems intrinsic to modern painting, pushing its formal and experiential possibilities in new and radical directions. In the 1960s and 70s, her groundbreaking hard-edge paintings were included in many landmark exhibitions of New York Minimalism, including the Guggenheim’s Systemic Painting and 10 at the Dwan Gallery, both in 1966, alongside works by her largely male peers, including Kenneth Noland, Robert Mangold, and Frank Stella, among others. Following an exhibition of her work at the Whitney Museum of Art in 1975, Baer distanced herself from the styles and precepts of the movement, feeling it was no longer relevant and critiquing the stance of leading Minimalist artists, such as Donald Judd and Robert Morris, in various published texts. In Baer’s words: “In the late 60s and 70s the vocabulary on which abstract art depended was destroyed. We lost our common language; we no longer shared one language that people understood. And once that happened, you had to go look for another language.” Shortly after her exhibition at the Whitney Museum, Baer relocated permanently to Europe in 1975 and began to explore new approaches to painting.

via Pace Gallery, New York
Featured Image: Left: Jo Baer, The Risen (Wink), 1960-1961/2019, oil on canvas, 72-3/8″ × 72-3/8″ (183.8 cm × 183.8 cm); Right: Jo Baer, Time-Line (Spheres, Angles and the Negative of the 2nd Derivative), 2012, Oil on canvas, 74″ × 73-1/2″ (188 cm × 186.7 cm) © Jo Baer