CLAIRE BAKER: SUNBODY and STEVE SCHMIDT: GYRES

Edward Cella Art + Architecture is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of work by emerging Los Angeles based artist Claire Baker. Baker is an abstract painter who strives to harness the spontaneity of gesture through the deliberation of strategy. SunBody, her newest series of large format paintings, thoughtfully negotiates this fine balance between meditative and active impulses, resulting in works that are mindful and yet dynamically extemporaneous. Deploying innovative tools and materials, Baker creates unique non-representational paintings with a very distinct visual quality.

The artist’s practice is informed by a deliberate approach to abstraction. Baker denotes physical time and space in her paintings with gesture and movement, capturing the spatial poetics of “moments” and phenomena as they are observed and experienced in her studio. Baker translates her observations of environmental space into abstract representational vocabularies she distils through deliberate gestures. These scripted motions can be likened to a system of spatial semiotics, not unlike their linguistic counterpart, as signs charged with meaning and used systematically as “speech” or script. The execution of her carefully choreographed work is deliberated rather than automatic; the gestures speculative and mindful rather than reactive and unmediated. Formally however, the work conveys the vitality of action painting, combining a seemingly disparate and conflicting set of impulses.

The work is created with the unique use of customized implements and synthetic materials to perfect the execution and control of her gestures. Baker uses custom made painting knives to extend the field of her movement and mark making. The gestures are in effect an extension of her body, activated by large sweeping and scraping movements on a human scale. The paintings are the direct result of this corporeal activation of space, and the body figures prominently as an agent of the pictorial field. While her work can be likened to a tradition of post-war American abstract expressionist painting, particularly the work of Franz Kline and Graham Sutherland, Baker innovatively revitalizes this gestural and spatial tradition with a contemporary approach to materials, palette, and form.

Exhibition Opening

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Saturday, March 16, 2013
    6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

  • Where: 

    Edward Cella Art + Architecture
    6018 Wilshire Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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