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Major exhibition of the work of Donald Baechler on view at Reflex Gallery
Donald Baechler, Ode to Pure Departure, 2016. Acrylic and fabric collage on canvas, 101,6 x 101,6 cm.

AMSTERDAM.- Reflex Gallery announces a major exhibition of the work of Donald Baechler. This is the first exhibition not just in Amsterdam for the world-famous American artist, but also the first in the Benelux area. One of the few continuously active members of the 1980s New York art scene, Baechler is an internationally acclaimed artist with a remarkable pedigree.

Born in Connecticut in 1956, Baechler studied at Cooper Union, NY and in Frankfurt. He made his name in New York in the 1980s showing his work at the legendary Tony Shafrazi Gallery with a group of artists that included Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He is known predominantly for his intensely reworked graphic work and paintings which return frequently to a group of motifs and characters often associated with childhood: ice-cream cones, thumbs-up, Disney-esque fawns, as well as more clichéd images from art history – flowers, skulls and globes.

Baechler has often referred to himself as collector, of imagery and references – biographical, art historical, visual ephemera – forming a rich archive in his work over the years. His influences are wide-ranging – from Giotto to the abstract expressionists to American folk art and Cy Twombly.

Known for his rich impasto approach to graphic work, Baechler uses Gesso and Flashe paint in order to rework the surface until he is happy with the result, but also allowing the viewer to witness the artist’s intense editing process and the way he erases and corrects as he goes along. Baechler has stated his concerns are primarily formal – those of line and colour rather than narrative - and in this, he invites us to bring our own associations to his imagery.

He is known also for his large-scale sculptural work. His famous 30ft aluminium “Walking Figure”, situated in Westhampton, NY, is a dynamic cartoon-like strolling woman, caught as if in a freeze-frame, energising her surroundings.

Donald Baechler has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries around the world. His work is also held in the permanent collections of art institutions including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, Vienna’s Albertina museum and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Reflex Amsterdam is delighted to bring together a selection of new and established works by this American master.

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