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Lothar Baumgarten    Apr 9 - May 21, 2011


Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to present its fourth exhibition by the artist Lothar Baumgarten, with Fragmento Brasil / Réalité Silhouette Paradoxe (1977-2005), a multi projection of slides existing in four versions.

« Fragmento Brasil is a projection piece of six synchronized projectors, organized in three pairs beside two single additional projectors. Each projector pair has its own interval for a total of 648 simultaneously projected images. All pairs have different projection sizes and are balanced in relation to each other. To create a momentum, the projected images relate in their size to the given architectural conditions. There is no sound involved in this piece. This piece exists in four versions of individual composition.

The parcours of the projected images and their sequences are comprised of three visual sources: details from eighty single paintings of Brazilian birds in idealized landscapes of European provenance by Albert Eckhout from 1654; drawings made by Yãnomãmi people in pencil, watercolor and pen; landscape photography of the Rio Caroni, Rio Uraricuera and Rio Branco region in Venezuela and Brazil that I took in 1977.

The painted European vision of Brazilian birds opposes the exploring native hand. The configurations of both lines and concepts overlay one another often in congruence. Through this binary stratum they talk back to us about the diversity of two multiple-shaped worlds. This strand combines the projected images in ever-changing intervals and forms its osmosis and parcours. The abstract drawings and watercolors of the Yãnomãmi people represent the animistic cosmos of a non-writing society. In their abstraction they often match the plumage pattern of the birds. These species are also game and find regular use in the native kitchen. The people adorn themselves with the feathers or use their patterns for body painting and to adorn their goods. This exceptional and intriguing circumstance and stunning quality became the material source to develop this piece.

The drawings of the Yãnomãmi, who hadn’t experienced a sheet of paper before they drew on it, are extraordinarily sensual through their spiritual truth and technical skills. These markings were animated and collected by myself during a time frame of eighteen months while I lived among the people of Kashorawë-theri in the Upper Orinoco region in 1978-1980. Through their nomadic, half sedentary lifestyle, I came in contact with many other bands of the Yãnomãmi society which live in the forests in Southern Venezuela and Northern Brazil in the Parima and Pacaraima Mountains. Natural patterns related to animals and plants are very common in their daily use. They also frequently represent the hekura, powerful invisible spirits from their animistic world. The landscape photography took place during a walk of five month in La Gran Sabana in Venezuela and Northern Brazil in 1977. »

Lothar Baumgarten

The work of Lothar Baumgarten has been presented in many personal and collective exhibitions in international museums and institutions. Fragmento Brasil / On the Origin of Table Manners (1971-2005) is a unique piece which is presently shown in the Museum Folkwang’s permanent collection (Essen, Germany). His recent solo exhibitions include Seven Sounds/Seven Circles, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2009), Autofocus retina, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, MACBA, Barcelona (2008), Museum Kurhaus, Kleve, Germany (2006), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2008), Carbon, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (2004), The Origin of the Night, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003), Carbon, De Pont, Tilburg (2002), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2001), Museu Serralves, Porto (2001). He represented Germany at the 41st Venice Biennale in 1984, where his work was awarded the Golden Lion.

Among his last collective exhibitions we can cite Projecto Tierra, Alhóndiga Bilbao (2010), Leopolds in the Temple, Sculpture Center, Long Island, USA (2010), Radical Nature – Art and Architecture for a changing Planet 1969-2009, Barbican Centre, London (2009), Universal Archive: The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia, Museu Colecçao Berardo, Lisbon (2009), Un Coup des Dés, Generali Foundation, Vienna (2008), Objectivités: La Photographie à Düsseldorf, Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC, Paris (2008), From the Earth to the Moon, Castello Rivoli, Torino (2007), Why Pictures Now, MUMOK Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (2006), Slide Show, Baltimore Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Brooklyn Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2005-2006), Behind the facts, Interfunktionen 1968-1975, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Museu Serralves, Porto, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel. He participated in the Documenta (Kassel) in 1972, 1982, 1992 and 1997.

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