A wide range of rare works of master photorealist John Baeder are presently on exhibit at ACA Galleries in New York. A review of the show by art and design legend Steven Heller describes it as a “must-see”.
Called “a photorealist with a difference” John Baeder’s intimate and brilliant paintings of diners and American roadside culture have become part of our shared visual vocabulary. Baeder has provided audio commentary for many of these works. Due to severe macular degeneration, the artist is no longer able to paint, making these works all the more special.
The exhibit represents a rare opportunity for the collector. More
Baeder’s quest to find his personal values reflected in the visual culture of roadside America coincided with his discovery of the essence of America’s identity—as reflected in the lives of those connected with the institutions of roadside America. Since 2005, Baeder has been engaged in that sort of interpretation and dialogue, taking the measure of where he has been and gauging what he, through his creative work, might become. Baeder understood from the outset of his new photo series in 2011 that manipulating the concepts of reality and illusion were key to his new endeavor. Were these new compositions more about illusion—statements about the pure delight of color and form, with their accent on color harmonies and sensuous surfaces? Baeder anticipated that viewers would wonder “Are the flowers real? Is the automobile ‘photoshopped’ into the image (as most would expect these days), and why is it there to begin with? Or were these photographs intended as some form of realism?”. Baeder’s new photo work was very different from the photographs he shot earlier in his career. Instead of being part of the tradition of landscape or genre scenes, these were classic still lifes. Like the earlier kitchen still life’s, they seemed to be views into some sort of alternate reality. But, by capitalizing on photography’s ability to seduce the eye, they have an even greater sense of the surreal about them. (From Jay Williams, “John Baeder’s Road Well Taken, The Vendome Press, New York, 2015.)
When: Through February 18, 2023
Where: ACA Galleries, 529 West 20th Street, 5th Floor, New York, New York 10011
For more information, please visit www.mbabram.com