Donald Baechler: CROWDS
June 3, 2011 - July 9, 2011
521 West 26th Street

This exhibition will feature new unique works on paper that the artist has created at the Pace Paper Workshop. A painter, sculptor and printmaker, this is Baechler's third exhibition with Pace Prints.

Donald Baechler has always been a collector of categories of images, whether the groupings are flowers, heads, skulls or horses. Through this collection, he has constructed a 30 year old image bank in the form of hand-made black and white 35 mm slides. An essential part of his compositional process has been to select precisely the right image out of the many thousands of possibilities he has on hand and incorporate this image into a larger pictorial field. Baechler floats the image dead center or carefully balances two or more images against each other and the edges of the paper or canvas.

In the mid to late '90s, Baechler developed a body of work that was very different from his work that preceded it. Up until that point, his characteristic compositional strategy was to float an image or images on the background, essentially emptying out everything except one or two essential elements. After mastering this compositionally, Baechler had developed the urge to fill the picture plane right back up again. "I had been working on a series of small paintings of disembodied black and white heads and on a packed subway car one afternoon it came to me that instead of choosing just the right one I should jam all the heads I had been collecting together into one very large painting. That was the first "CROWD" painting." Since then, Baechler has returned to this compositional strategy a number of times, most recently in this new series of monoprints. The heads themselves, which are also found in the subjects in his newest paintings, are playful in their simplicity yet, when layered densely are dark in their undertones. They are reminiscent of children's drawings, old tattoos and graffiti.

Also shown in his new exhibition at Pace Prints Chelsea is a series of unique and editioned flower works, created within handmade paper, where the artist allows the wet paper pulp to shrink around the flower imagery. These have substantial sculptural presence, yet are ephemeral in their substrate and light in their subject matter. Shown next to the crowd series, one wants to link the flower series to art historical still life painting, domesticity, and mortality, but perhaps they are just pleasant reminders of the brightening season.

Donald Baechler was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1956 and currently lives and works in New York City. Since the 1980s, Baechler's work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. He is represented by Cheim and Read Gallery, New York and is in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre George Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janiero, Brazil, among others.

Visitor Information

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New York, NY 10001

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