Jo Baer
H. Arcuata, 1971

Jo Baer was one of the few women able to make her way on the male-dominated New York art scene in the 1960s. Baer studied biology and perceptual psychology before doing an art course in Los Angeles from 1953-60. Baer defended the importance of pictures in the context of Minimal Art, though the Minimal artists campaigned vehemently against painting as a relevant art form. By asserting that a painting is an object, and developing an anti-illusionistic style, Jo Baer gave her pictures a powerful physical presence. H. Arcuata (the botanical name for a kind of orchid) is one of a group of pictures dating from around 1970 that were intended to be hung low and viewed from a number of angles. The works become accessible only when the individual areas and the way they develop over the sides of the picture are investigated. Jo Baer felt her pictures contributed to the discussion on “the sovereignty of the subject and associated questions about the nature of self-determination.”

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