Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present a series of new and recent paintings by Donald Baechler. The exhibition will be comprised solely of 40 x 40 inch paintings, all of which are on display for the first time in New York. Baechler’s exhibition with the gallery will be concurrent with his exhibition at Cheim and Read of early works on paper from the 1980s.
For the first time, Baechler will present 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 Baechler’s larger works in the exhibition at Cheim and Read will be a selection of works in the same 40 x 40 inch size.
Baechler’s 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.
Sargent’s Daughters gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Cheim and Read in producing this exhibition.