Jo Baer - Biography
Baer rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s with her extremely reduced paintings in which a slender strip of color alongside a broader black band runs round the large white center of the canvas. The difference in effect of the colored strip next to a pale or a dark field, and the impact of Canvas size and format on the viewer’s perceptions are among the central topics in Baer’s painting.
Baer describes her early ambition to make "poetic objects that would be discrete yet coherent, legible yet dense, subtle yet clear."
After moving from New York to Ireland in 1975, Baer’s work underwent a fascinating change in style. It became representational, narrative and multicolored. She developed her principle of “Radical Figuration”, in which she traced elements from cultural history, such as archaic cave painting or ancient Grecian culture, back to their origins. This research is reflected by her paintings from 1975 onward. Her gouaches reveal an early interest in signs and symbols, and also a wider spectrum of colors.