new-york

Jo Baer

School of Visual Arts

Twelve paintings by Jo Baer suspend time and create their own silence at the gallery of the School of Visual Arts. These are early paintings done in 1962–63. Their basic format is simple: a six-foot white square echoed by black bands about four inches wide, placed several inches in from the outer edge of the canvas. A narrow blue border rims the inside edge of the black on all sides except the top. Variation in the paintings occurs at the top, where blue banding is used in simple patterns that create surprisingly strong differences in the feel of each canvas. The black band also fluctuates in width at the top. Although their stringency makes it hard to accept, these paintings were worked out intuitively. They are not an arbitrary series; the problems in each canvas were solved with six inch by six inch gesso working drawings before they were painted. No tape was used. They are immaculately

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