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This solo exhibition by the American artist Jo Baer, brings together a series of recent paintings inspired by the artist’s stay in the archaeologically rich countryside of County Louth between 1975 and 1982.

Born in 1929, Baer was one of the key figures of the Minimalist painting movement in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s. During this period, she explored the formal aspects of the medium and developed a visual language of non-objectivity in her black and white hard-edge paintings, culminating in her acclaimed solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. That same year, reflecting on Minimalism’s failure to respond to the dramatic events of the 1960s, Baer abandoned the style and left New York to become chatelain of Smarmore Castle in County Louth. Over the next seven years, her practice gradually shifted towards a ‘radical figuration’, also known as ‘image constellations’ that combine figural elements, text, images, and symbols.

The series of six works completed between 2009 and 2013, presented alongside two additional paintings dating to 2020, was fuelled by Baer’s continued research into Irish Neolithic artefacts and myths. They reflect the artist’s long-life interest in history and science and trace the convergences and timelines of thought and memory between the ancient and now.

Curator Talk
Sunday 27 August, 2 – 3pm  / Drop-in 

Join Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator, Collections, IMMA for a gallery walk-through and discussion on selected works presented in theJo Baer and Anne Madden exhibitions.

This exhibition is a co-curation between IMMA and Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda in collaboration with Jo Baer and guest curator and Baer scholar Janine Armin. The exhibition was first shown at Highlanes Gallery from 29 April – 17 June 2023.

Coming Home Late: Jo Baer In the Land of the Giants has been made possible with the generous support of Mondriaan Fund.

About the artist

In the 1960s and 70s, Jo Baer (b. 1929, Seattle, Washington) explored non-objectivity in her black and white hard-edge paintings as part of the New York Minimalist movement. She left New York for Europe in 1975, eventually settling in Amsterdam after years spent in Ireland and London. Through the course of her move to Europe, Baer’s work shifted away from pure abstraction, gradually adding figural elements, text, images, and symbols. 

Baer has been the subject of one-artist exhibitions at institutions worldwide at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1975); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1978, 1986); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (1986, 1999, 2013); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2002); Secession, Vienna (2008); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013); Camden Arts Centre, London (2015); MAMCO, Geneva (2022); and Dia | Beacon, NY (2022–26). 

Significant recent group exhibitions include Busan Biennale, Busan Museum of Art, Korea (2012); São Paulo Biennale, Brazil (2014); Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014); Drawing Dialogues: Selections from the Sol LeWitt Collection, The Drawing Center, New York (2016); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art (2016); Calder to Kelly, Die amerikanische Sammlung, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2017); The Absent Museum, WIELS, Brussels (2017); and Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017). 

Her works are part of numerous public collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main. 

Additional Resources 


Additional Resources