Jo Baer, Untitled, 1960, collage and gouache on paper, 6 x 6".


Jo Baer

Museum Ludwig
May 25–August 25, 2013

Curated by Julia Friedrich

In the 1960s, Jo Baer brought painting to the edge. With perimeters of black paint around white squares, she framed painting’s repressed material support, and with stripes wrapping around stretcher bars, she lured viewers away from painting’s ceremonial frontality. The Museum Ludwig survey will feature roughly a dozen such works but also some 150 lesser-known pieces in which Baer developed and exceeded her earlier concerns: richly colored gouaches of provocative symmetries and patterns, small rectangular studies (with creased edges and notched corners that allowed her to figure out the workings of her wraparound compositions), watercolors that Baer used to imagine bold installations of paintings, and a nude from 1960 that anticipates the subtle figuration with which Baer left her signature austerity behind. Catalogue essays by Lucy Lippard, David Raskin, and Lauren O’Neill-Butler should insightfully gather Baer’s ouevre into a whole.