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Jo Baer: Notes on 5 Recent Paintings

JO BAER’S LATEST WORK consists of two vertical and three horizontal paintings. The horizontal measure 22’ x 69”, the vertical 80” x 22”. All are mounted on 4” stretcher bars. The wide stretchers advance the front surfaces into the gallery space—these works seem bodied forth. But they are neither gestural nor corporeal. They show the corners of the room inversed, and they cast shadows which connect significantly to their painted forms. But they are not architectural.

These paintings acknowledge three-dimension al space, which they both enclose and inhabit. They do this by requiring the viewer to move about as he looks, thus abandoning the static position that is traditionally taken as a precondition for looking at painting. (The viewer will try to find the “optimum viewing distance,” intending to settle there.) But these are not—in their three-dimensionality—sculptural works. By putting

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