NEW YORK, NY.- Sargents Daughters
is presenting a series of new and recent paintings by Donald Baechler. The exhibition is comprised solely of 40 x 40 inch paintings, all of which are on display for the first time in New York. Baechlers exhibition with the gallery is concurrent with his exhibition at Cheim and Read of early works on paper from the 1980s.
For the first time, Baechler presents a series of work that is all 40 x 40 inches, a size he has worked on since the 1980s. These works are not studies, but actualized paintings on a smaller scale. Accompanying Baechlers larger works in the exhibition at Cheim and Read is a selection of works in the same 40 x 40 inch size.
Baechlers iconography is at once sophisticated and naïve, and comes to vividly to life by a series of subtle layers which transform the image from the everyday to the emblematic. The starkly outlined central images are instantly recognizable: a skull, a flower, a boy reading a book. The familiarity of the subject belies a sly humor and wit that imbues the work with a deeper meaning, always examining the language of cultural symbols.
In this series of works the central image floats above dense overlapping layers that recall graffittied city surfaces and the process by which Baechler arrives at the painting itself. Baechler is constantly cataloguing and amassing an inventory of images, only a few of which will make it to the final painting, but the concentrated accumulation of these images informs both the background and the sharply delineated central subject of the work. The final images present themselves as cultural touchstones, and this reduction to simplicity allows the works to become both fundamental and universal.
Donald Baechler was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1956 and currently lives and works in New York City. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally; recent museum shows include Donald Baechler: Painting & Sculpture at Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York, in 2011, and XL + XS at the Museo Arte Contemporanea Isernia, Italy, in 2009. Other recent international exhibitions include shows in Italy (in Trento, Vermiglio and Torino), as well as in Spain, Sweden and Austria. Cheim & Read has represented Baechler since 1999.
Sargents Daughters gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Cheim and Read in producing this exhibition.