Jo Baer, ‘H. Orbitaster’, 1973, Gagosian

About Jo Baer

Over the course of her long, bold, and celebrated career, Jo Baer has ranged from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism to what she calls “radical figuration” in her paintings, prints, and drawings. She emerged in New York in the 1960s as one of the foremost Minimalist painters. For nearly 15 years, she produced light squares edged with thin bands of color, edged, in turn, with thick black bands. The light interior and black exterior framed the color, drawing out its subtle, electric resonance. In 1975, she abandoned Minimalism, left New York, and re-introduced expression, figuration, and symbolism into her work. She explained her position in a 1983 Art in America article titled, “I Am No Longer an Abstract Artist.” Encapsulating her career, Baer explains: “I didn’t want to do what was expected of me: I wanted to do the right thing.”

American, b. 1929, Seattle, Washington, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands