The Contemporary and The Message

I looked at Monika Baer at Kestner Gesellschaft in Contemporary Art Daily: A Daily Journal of International Exhibitions. I was first drawn to the bright colors placed in small areas on otherwise pale, washed out backgrounds. My favorite image in the exhibition was three overlapping circles (blue, yellow, and pink) that created different colors where they overlapped. In the bottom right corner of the painting is a cigarette. I found it simple but profound. That is how I ended up seeing the whole exhibition: simple but profound. The exhibition was of three series of works by the artist Monika Baer, all centered on alcohol. Her artworks, whether they are black and white sachets, bold dark backgrounds, or pale stained washes; the bottles of different alcohol are always the most prominent part of the piece. The press release talked about how Baer used a wide range of techniques in her artworks, playing with soft gestures (mostly seen in her pastel colored backgrounds) against her sharp outlines (like those in her alcohol bottles). The underlining theme of alcohol that can be found in all of these paintings reminded me of Art 21’s Vancouver episode that I recently watched. That may seem like an odd thing to say, by simply looking at the artworks in the GroBe Spritztour exhibition and the artworks by the four Vancouver artists – Liz Magor, Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, and Jeff Wall – the only thing that appears similar is that they are all contemporary artist. Their artworks are in different mediums and focus on different subjects.

– Danielle Riggs

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