Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHAA 32 Contents 198 HOMES & ART AUTUMN 2012
rite down this name –
Rebecca Baumann. If you
haven’t heard much about
her work at the moment, you
soon will. Artists of real vision, ability and
commitment are soon picked up by curators
and critics and their work gains currency
nationally and internationally extremely
quickly. So, by the time you’ve finished
writing her name, Baumann will have
already been invited to exhibit in another
show, or her work will have been purchased
by a major collector or institution.
She is, in the parlance, ‘hot’, and
for very good reason. As well as being
conceptually rigorous and intellectually
robust, her work is also joyous and
engaging, the kind of work that lifts your
spirit, and that’s not all that common.
Standing in front of her Improvised
Smoke Device (2010/2011), above, it’s
impossible not to smile, to be captivated
by the spiralling coloured puffs of smoke
that look like fabulous ‘fairy floss’
confections. And then it’s gone and
we have to deal with loss and sadness,
which we mollify with expectation that
it might ignite once more. It’s a given that
colour impacts on our emotions, that we
are stimulated, calmed, delighted and
saddened by different colours, and this is
the palette Baumann works with.
One of her most recent works, Automated
Colour Field (2011) uses one of the flip signs
so familiar in our memories of airports,
where information change was signalled
by the delirious flipping of little panels.
Baumann has taken these panels and
removed the information, replacing them
with colours so its random movement
generates a fabulous scale of colours and
emotions shimmering before our eyes.
Last year, Baumann was included
in NEW11, the survey show of exciting
new artists at the Australian Centre
for Contemporary Art in Melbourne,
and also Primavera, at the Museum of
Contemporary Art in Sydney. Currently
her work is on show in Brisbane as part
of the major survey of Contemporary
Australia: Women at the Gallery of
Modern Art. With an artist like Baumann
that’s only the beginning, and of that
you can be sure.
Contemporary Australia: Women,
Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland
April 21-July 22.
WORDS Ted Snell
ARTIST TO WATCH
Ted Snell is Director, Cultural Precinct,
University of Western Australia. He is
cu rre ntly a r t re viewe r for The Australian in
Western Australia and Chair of the Visual
Arts Board of the Australia Council.
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