BEING THERE, gestures of presence
A solo exhibition by Dagmar Baumann
The work of Dagmar Baumann explores the concept of gesture. The handling of material guides the work into being.
The paintings appear as a celebration of the act of painting. The image reveals the process – the process is the image. The viewer witnesses the remains of an action that makes itself tangible. Brushstrokes seem to land on a canvas from somewhere beyond. Paint and primer appear and reappear in layers that form a complex weave of sometimes no more than two or three bold movements. The strokes cross the surface in speeding shortcuts or meander and circulate in the flat white field of the canvas, which gets stirred up into a strong illusion of three-dimensionality. The abstract image is full of motion. It evokes associations with nature, geology, microscopic images, and calligraphy while consequently pointing back to the material nature of the painting itself.
Baumann’s collages approach the notion of presence from another angle. They are made from meticulously composed cut-outs, originating from the artist’s archives of printed matters, photographs, and the recycling of her own works. While the flickering interaction of the countless image-elements let the viewer go astray in visual rhyme, a surprising stillness is created; like taking a walk through the woods.
The gestural image and the collections of objects, photographs, and printed matters – brought together across a lifespan – combine momentum and the succession of memories. The artwork is an attempt to find out how to live, how to be present.
Being aware of the movement itself as an echo to the visual world, while observing the quality of connection and communication through the image, opens the realm of painting as an artistic discipline in much the same way of being ‘in life’.
The open and colourful artworks turn spaces into a setting. Whether in public or in private, the singular work becomes an interlocutor between everything present, including the viewer. Boundaries loosen up in the flowing, sometimes dazzling feeling that the images radiate.
Baumann is looking for this sense of here and now, the play with space and chronology, the personal and the general.
The exhibition will run from 2nd September until 22nd October 2023.