Richard Baker, ‘1 LB. French Roast Whole Bean with Leftovers’, 2009, Clark Gallery

About Richard Baker

Painter Richard Baker works within the genre of still life, but “elbow[s] out the edges of it,” he says, incorporating landscape and portraiture in non-traditional ways. In his works, a flower vase might sit atop a box in the middle of a winding road (Approach, 2008), for example, or the scene might include magazine photographs (Tussle, 2009). He is also known for painting the literary classics he favored as a youth—works by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, to name a few. With palpable nostalgia for the pre-ebook era, he depicts paperback editions from the 1960s and ’70s, faithfully portraying not only the front cover’s original details, but also signs of its passage through time—creases, worn bindings, and all. “I feel like a conduit allowing the social conversation to blossom in what books I’m painting,” Baker says.

American, b. 1959, Baltimore, Maryland, based in Brooklyn, New York