Brett Baker, Axel's Forest IV, 2010-2012, oil on canvas, 5 x 3 inches (courtesy of the artist and Elizabeth Harris Gallery)
Julia Schwartz interviews painter and Painters' Table editor Brett Baker. Thanks to Julia for the opportunity to discuss my work, including the development of my recent miniature paintings.
"Moving from a large studio in the Catskills to a two-room apartment in Manhattan forced me, finally, to consider the role scale played in the work. I had to ask whether could I make serious paintings that were small, and to answer that question I had to try and make some small works and see if they 'measured up' to the large ones. I stretched ten small paintings, the limit that would fit on the apartment wall, and resolved to work on them until the question of scale was answered in the work. I worked on those paintings for four years. Interestingly, my existing visual language continued to evolve and thrive on the smaller surfaces. The size of the marks changed very little, but where they had more or less floated on a large surface they began to interlock, to push and pull against each other and the support. A visual compression emerged that hadn’t been there before, and the paintings began to realize the solidity I originally sought."
Brett Baker, Scarbo, 2009 -2011, oil on canvas, 5 x 4 inches
I want to thank all Painters’ Table readers for making this blog a success over the past two years and also to cordially invite everyone to the opening reception for an exhibition of my paintings at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York on Friday, January 4, 2013 from 6 - 8 pm. The exhibition will run through February 2, 2013. A catalogue with an essay by Jennifer Samet will be available from the gallery.
Interview with Painters' Table editor Brett Baker about his work and studio practice.
"Studio spaces have definitely impacted my work. In 2003 I moved from a huge, dream studio in upstate New York to a tiny New York apartment... I still wanted to make large paintings and thought I could, perhaps, make 'big' small paintings. At the time small paintings for me meant sketches or studies. I stretched ten small canvases and resolved to work on them until they lived up to the larger works."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.