Partition is a new sculptural installation that has developed from a public commission Kluiters is currently working on for a new prison in Zaandam. For this commission, the artist was asked to find an artistic solution to a practical problem—controlling viewpoints, lines of sight, within a series of inner courtyards. The prisoners cannot access these spaces, but their cell windows look onto them from all sides. Five objects partition the gallery space. Each object repeats the shape of a corner seen from different angles. Exaggeration of lines of perspective direct the eye towards a series of dead ends from which escape is impossible.
A second work, Study Model for Folded Architecture, is a model of an architectural space folded up. It is a re-arrangement of a corridor space in which vertical positions have been re-orientated, folding in on themselves, and taking on many new angles. In a ‘folded architecture’ paradigm, the spaces of the corridor become a frame for the proportions of the human body that both orientate it in our minds, and disorientate it. Imagining ourselves in this complex space would mean floors becoming walls, ceilings tilting, and strong disorientation of our body’s movement, rhythm, and experience. What would we see? Where would we be? In a folding world uncertainty becomes a new kind of space.
Editor: Janice McNabJo Baer – In the Giclée-ed Lands of the Giants
Jo Baer was a key figure among the celebrated protagonists of Minimalist painting in New York in the 1960s and first half of the ’70s. It was during that period that she executed her series of different-sized squares as well as vertical and horizontal rectangles in the hard-edge style, works she later expanded into multipartite arrangements as diptychs and triptychs.
Baer describes her early ambition to make “poetic objects that would be discrete yet coherent, legible yet dense, subtle yet clear.” The artist produced what she called a radical redefinition of painting by arguing that the root of painting was neither flatness, nor colour, nor shape. She placed the emphasis entirely on light.
The figural subjects, concepts and objects in her paintings make reference to historical, mythological and private sources. […] Jo Baer’s ‘image’ paintings are often distinguished by their forceful colours and emphatic chiaroscuro contrasts. Other compositions are dominated by white surfaces. By the use of a pronounced positioning of colour as well as translucent and opaque areas in her current works, Jo Baer once again brings her own artistic origins to light, placing them on an equal footing with the newer elements.
Jo Baer who was born in Seattle in 1929 now lives and works in Amsterdam. Her works are part of various public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Gallery, London and the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main. Her latest solo shows were at Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (2009) and Secession Vienna (2008).
Recently solo exhibitions of Jo Baer’s work were held at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2013) and Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2013). Her work was part of “highways and byways. together again. Nic Hess creates a setting for American Art from the Daimler Art Collection” at Daimler Contemporary Berlin (2013). In 2015 Baer’s work was included in the 31st Bienal de São Paulo and shown during a solo exhibition at Camden Arts Centre, London.
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