IFPDA Executive Director Jenny Gibbs invited artist Christiane Baumgartner to curate a list of selections from the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair online.
As an artist, you always look at art from a very subjective perspective. It is not the gaze of the collector, who might want to add certain works to an already existing collection, nor is it the gaze of the curator who would also like to bring together different objects into an exhibition concept, or who is looking for works that match or contradict one another in terms of content and form.
The artist's gaze, on the other hand, looks for aspects which are relevant to his or her own work. This often happens unconsciously and mostly things seem interesting that may not be superficially associated with one‘s own practice. One “chews, digests and spits out."
I still remember a time, perhaps 35 years ago, when I practically devoured Expressionist woodcuts and dealt with the question of contrast, the use of black against white surfaces or lines, and the interplay of positive and negative. At that time I also had my Munch, my Klee and my Picasso phase.
That is why my selection today is a brief overview of some works that, for various reasons, touch me or echo something I also investigate: either in color or in gradient, in dealing with materiality and structure, in composition, or simple and poignant in content itself.
Unfortunately, on a two-dimensional screen, it is, of course, not easy to read works on paper or prints – which often leave an “impression“, i.e. a three- dimensionality. Especially, the particular beauty of the etching, the slightly shiny sheen of the plate tone, can hardly be perceived digitally.
I'm sitting in my room in Leipzig, Germany, far away from the New York of fall 2019. The media are afraid of the second corona wave. It's very quiet here. No stress, no flood of communication, more of a self-reflection. I dedicate myself to the “little things”. Nothing will be the same as it used to be. We have grown up, we are perhaps calmer, more thoughtful ... and we have learned that “modern man” is also vulnerable. In any case, the pre-pandemic interpersonal closeness as it once was no longer exists.
I don't really like transferring this mood to my current selection of work from the ifpda online print fair fall 2020. Nevertheless, as I scroll through my completely free and straight selection, I notice that I have made a very calm, almost contemplative, and quite formal choice.
23.10.2020 Christiane Baumgartner