Marking the artist’s first major monographic museum exhibition in the United States, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College is pleased to present Christiane Baumgartner: Another Country, an in-depth introduction to and survey of the artist’s work at mid-career. Curated by Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director at the Davis, the exhibition features 55+ works completed within the last decade, including several of the magnificent monumental woodcuts—hand-carved blocks and hand-printed impressions—for which the artist is best known, along with photo-engravings, aquatints, and photogravures executed in series.
Baumgartner works at the intersection of old and new media to expand the conceptual and technical capacities of printmaking—to push beyond the traditional boundaries of the medium’s expectations and precedents. Sourcing images from cinema and television, or from her own photographs and videos, Baumgartner’s images defy print convention. Often monumental in scale, or undertaken in extended series, the work is about speed and transmission, about human sight and its elusive capture, about cultural memory and modes of representation.
Born in 1967 in Leipzig, Germany, Christiane Baumgartner worked as a skilled typesetter at a publishing house before entering the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig). During her school years, she founded Carivari Artist Press, and was an artist-in-residence at the Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop in Scotland. She began independent study with renowned graphic artist and wood engraver Karl-Georg Hirsch in Leipzig in 1997; that same year, she entered the Royal College of Art, London where she completed her MFA in Printmaking in 1999. She has since received many honors and awards, including the 2010 commission of Ladywood, an installation combining print and video elements, by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in collaboration with The Art Fund, UK and the 2011 commission of Illumination by the Schweizerische Graphische Gesellschaft in Zurich, Switzerland. From 2014 to 2016, Baumgartner was Visiting Professor for Printmaking at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig. Her work is held in over thirty public collections worldwide, including the Albertina, Vienna; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Baumgartner was recently awarded the prestigious Mario Avati Printmaking Prize by the Académie des beaux-arts, Paris, which staged her first solo exhibition in France in 2015. Baumgartner lives and works in Leipzig, where she has maintained a studio at the Leipziger Spinnerei since 1995.
A fully illustrated catalogue, published and distributed by Hirmer Verlag, contributes new scholarship on the artist: essays by Claire C. Whitner, Director of Curatorial Affairs and James A. Welu Curator of European Art at the Worcester Art Museum, and the former Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Collections at the Davis Museum, and Richard S. Field, retired Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery, contextualize Baumgartner’s work in relation to German printmaking traditions; and an interview with the artist by the exhibition curator, Lisa Fischman, considers Baumgartner’s practice at mid-career.
Curated by Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro '37 Director of the Davis Museum, the exhibition and catalogue were realized with generous funding from Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis, The Kathryn Wasserman Davis '28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership, The Mildred Cooper Glimcher '61 Endowed Fund, E. Franklin Robbins Art Museum Fund, Sandra Cohen Bakalar '55 Fund, Betty B. McAndrew Art Museum Fund, Davis Museum and Cultural Center Program Endowed Fund, Constance Rhind Robey '81 Fund for Museum Exhibitions, and the Goethe-Institut Boston.