JO BAER, Untitled, 1968, oil on canvas, 72 × 72 inches (182.9 × 182.9 cm)
Jo Baer is considered to be one of the few true exponents of Minimalist painting. By 1960 she had established her mature style, painting monochrome canvases with vestigial abstract markings. Her formal code dictated that the abstract paintings consist of a white or gray monochrome surface framed in black at the edges, with vivid color placed directly next to the frame, thus establishing subtle chromatic friction. In her later figurative works she began to incorporate fluid, organic motifs sourced from prehistoric sculptures and cave paintings. However, even with this radical change in style and content, she continued to set strict parameters to define the fundamental aspects of her painting. For example, figurative works always contained specific elements: a human form, a non-human form, an object, and a symbol of a concept.
Jo Baer was born in 1929 in Seattle, Washington and studied at the University of Washington and the New School for Social Research, New York. She lives and works in Amsterdam. Her work is represented in many major public and private collections worldwide. Important solo exhibitions include "Jo Baer," the Whitney Museum, New York (1975); "Jo Baer, Paintings 1965–1975" Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1978); "Jo Baer Palimpsests: A Selection of Paintings and Drawings 1963–1993," Rijksmuseum Kroeller-Mueller, Otterlo (1993); "Jo Baer, Paintings 1960–1998 / Schilderijen 1969–1998," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1999); "Jo Baer. The Minimalist Years 1960-1975," DIA Center for the Arts, New York (2002); "Triotentoonstelling 2009: Jo Baer, Lynda Benglis, Jutta Koether," Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2009); “Jo Baer: Land of the Giants” Stedelijk Musuem, Amsterdam (2013); and “Jo Baer,” Museum Ludwig Köln (2013). The artist’s first solo exhibition with Gagosian Gallery, “Jo Baer: Paintings 1966–1980”, took place in Geneva in 2012.