Donald Baechler: Paintings from Kunsthalle, Basel

March 6 - April 10, 1999

Press Release

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Donald Baechler: Paintings from Kunsthalle, Basel
March 6 - April 10, 1999


The Tony Shafrazi Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of large new paintings by Donald Baechler previously exhibited in 1998 at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland. The paintings, measuring as large as 18 feet, were painted to be shown in the Kunsthalle's enormous 19th Century space.

Donald Baechler combines and accumulates techniques and motifs. These in turn become his own new language, a universal and populist pictorial idiom. He is a collector of images from many sources. They are often naive, such as in children's drawings, folk and outsider art, or the art of the insane. He finds sources of inspiration on the streets, in his travels, from friends and often from complete strangers.

In these new paintings on view some of the images come from the Third World. For example, the cones came from a sign he saw in a Morrocan store that sold ice cream and milk. Other images were inspired by signs from Mexico and India. According to Baechler, "Recently I've been interested in some of the forgotten aspects of pop culture like bad sign painting in Third World countries - but my work is not really about pop culture, but instead, hopefully a more idiosyncratic and personal view of the world of images." As in an often-used form found in his paintings, Baechler's images are truly global.

This will be Donald Baechler's ninth solo show at the Shafrazi Gallery. His first one-person exhibition here was in 1983. His extensive international career has included exhibitions throughout the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. His paintings have long been characterized by the use of emblematic forms-heads, flowers, trees, and beach balls - floating on a lushly painted and heavily collaged white background.

"Baechler's paintings sometimes look like floating, seamless quilts made of montage effects like ghost memories and rogue snippets of history" -Lisa Liebmann, 1994

Please contact Hiroko Onoda for further information.