Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Monika Baer. Neue Bilder

Hannah Höch Prize 2020

12 Jun - 02 Aug 2020

Monika Baer. Neue Bilder, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, photo: Jens Ziehe
Monika Baer. Neue Bilder, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, photo: Jens Ziehe
Monika Baer, yet to be titled, Oil on canvas, 216 x 145 cm. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, and Greene Naftali, New York
Monika Baer, untitled, 2020, paper, acrylic, inkjet printing, saw blade fragment, screws on cardboard, image: Adèle Haenel at the Césars before walking out, 2020, 17,9 x 30 x 6.4 cm, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, photo: Jens Ziehe
Monika Baer, Coincidence, 2020, cardboard, paper, acrylic, ink, saw blade, images: two works by Rosemarie Trockel in Artforum, 20 x 30 x 7 cm, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2020, photo: Jens Ziehe
Monika Baer was awarded the Hannah Höch Prize 2020 by the State of Berlin for her outstanding artistic achievements. On the occasion of the award ceremony, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) will honor her complex artistic oeuvre with a solo exhibition. This first larger presentation of Baer’s work at an institution in Berlin offers insights into her most recent experimental approaches, begun last year in Los Angeles. With a new constellation of large-format paintings and small-format collages, Baer continues her investigation of art historical references as well as the new discursive spaces that painted images can produce.

In her work, often produced as series, Baer makes use of various painterly traditions and techniques, from monochrome and representational approaches to physical disruption to the surface of the canvas. During her studies in the 1980s, art was undergoing a period of repoliticization, in which art criticism questioned the autonomy of painting and its potential for innovation. Amidst this set of conflicts, Baer made the conscious decision to work within the medium of painting—with an interest in continuing the scrutiny of its underlying presumptions—which has remained one of her central artistic questions to this day.

Baer’s painting is guided by an understanding of the painting as a stage, and the pursuit of a choreography of seeing imbued with cultural history. Her latest works, presented at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, continue her exploration of the pictorial space as a theater setting, which she began in 1995. Walls structure the foreground and background to place them in perspective, evoking stone parapets and borders, as found in Renaissance portrait painting. The protagonists are trees and tree stumps, which move diagonally against a magnificent colorful sky, tilting or shedding their bark. The repetition of compositional elements and angles of inclination indicate the artist’s concern, not with illusionary effects, but with the concrete object as an embodiment to be explored in its specific, metonymic form and as part of a performance.

Curator: Marius Babias
 

Tags: Monika Baer