Richard Baker - Knot - 2010 32 x 30 inches Oil on wood
Painters Richard Baker and Barbara Kassel will be featured in con-current solo exhibitions at Clark Gallery from May 3 through June 5.
Glasses of water, magazines, vases of tulips, and scattered fruits, candies, and martini glasses occupy the tabletops featured in Richard Baker’s painted compositions. Defying categorization, Baker utilizes a still life format but transcends traditional expectations of that expression by pushing the picture plain and imbuing each composition with great psychological depth. Generously painted with broad scrapes of a palette knife in combination with puckered and dripping paint, Baker’s compositions are painstakingly pieced together. The angles of the tabletops defy gravity while the objects above remain seemingly balanced. A resident of Brooklyn, Baker summers on Cape Cod and often incorporates the familiar dunes and summer skies beyond the arranged objects, further emphasizing the irony and drama playing out among the painted objects.
Richard Baker is represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. He has been featured in exhibitions at galleries throughout the country and has been the subject of reviews in Art in America, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Art News, Art New England, Modern Painters, and Art and Antiques. A graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Baker has been awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts Grant, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center.
Barbara Kassel contemplates themes surrounding relationships and daily life in her oil on panel paintings. Her autobiographical interiors incorporate personal objects inhabiting her surroundings with expanding views outside the windows. Residing and working in spaces that change with the seasons, Kassel’s loft in Tribeca and retreats in Maine and on Martha’s Vineyard play significant roles. Although the narrative presented in each painting is deeply personal, Kassel avoids becoming sentimental. The paintings are a true reflection of her, but are coated with symbolism that is universally accessible. Kassel’s paintings are meditative, meticulously rendered, and resonate with imagery and meaning.
Barbara Kassel received her MFA from Yale University and BFA from Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at the University of New Mexico’s Art Gallery, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Harvard University’s Carpenter Center, and in exhibitions at Clark Gallery since 1997. Kassel’s work is represented in numerous corporate and private collections and has been featured in American Artist, ART NEWS, and Artforum.