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Face It by Monika Baer

Face It by Monika Baer

Texte zur Kunst

Archival Digital Photographic Print


Edition Size: 30 + 10 A.P.

Sheet Size: 40.2 x 30 cm

Reference: Texte zur Kunst #122 June 2021


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

The paintings of Monika Baer, winner of the 2020 Hannah Höch Prize, operate at the intersection between figuration and abstraction in positively paradigmatic fashion. Whether in her searching engagement with the painting as stage, an undertaking she began in 1995, or in later series such as “In Pieces” (2013–2015), which features the detritus of nocturnal revelries or, more likely, a solitary bender – beer bottles, banknotes, cigarette butts – or, as in Baer’s most recent works, trees and tree stumps monopolize the viewer’s attention in a painterly performance of the artist’s formal procedures. Baer’s emphasis on the physicality of her motifs and, more importantly, on the bodily quality of the staging is evident – both in intimations of isolated gestures and objects and also in the focus on silhouettes, outlines, and areas of blurring. In her edition, titled “Face it” (2021), the fleeting cobalt blue is the protagonist. The figurative rhetoric is underscored by a coin placed upside down on the right edge of the picture: a dime, the US ten-cent coin that features Franklin D. Roosevelt – ardent supporter of liberalism and architect of the New Deal – along with the inscription “LIBERTY.” As much an accessory as a hard fact, the coin calls for the titular reality check.



The Artist

Monika Baer

Monika Baer lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. An upcoming solo exhibition will open at the Kunsthalle Bern this fall. She was the winner of Berlin’s Hannah Höch Prize for lifetime achievement in 2019; an associated exhibition was held at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in 2020. Recent solo exhibitions include Greene Naftali, New York (2021); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2019); Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany, which traveled to Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany (both 2016); Greene Naftali, New York (2015); and Art Institute of Chicago (2013), which traveled to Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts (2014). Her work has been featured in recent group exhibitions at Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2019); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2019); mumok, Vienna (2018); WIELS, Brussels (2017); and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013); among others.

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