New Works

March 24 - May 14, 2022

Reception for the artist Thursday, March 24, 2022, 5:30-8pm. Proof of vaccine required.


Something Else No. 57


acrylic on canvas
60 x 60 inches
EB 38


Rev. Dr. Richard Davey, Research Fellow in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, UK, described Edith Baumann’s paintings as inhaling, then exhaling. “In a fluid gesture, she leaves a breath of paint on the picture surface.”


Building on her four decades-long practice of creating geometric abstract paintings, in the current two new bodies of work in the present exhibition, Baumann has integrated a new element, overlapping her usual solid grounds and rectangular shapes, of thinly brushed on layers of paint, which reveal and conceal the colors they overlap, but also display the artist’s hand in a way not seen in her prior work.

The rich, strong colors are achieved by Baumann grinding raw pigments to make her own paints. The emerging colors inform the relationship between the solid geometric forms and gestural marks. They do seem to breathe.


Beyond historical abstraction, which connoted purity and ascetic withdrawal from the world, Baumann’s paintings are characterized neither by a monkish self-referentiality, nor by unmediated self-expression. While they are personal, they are not autobiographical. Her anti-egotistical position recalls that of California artist John McLaughlin (1898-1976), who appreciated “the economy of means” in oriental paintings. “These paintings,” McLaughlin wrote, “I could get into and made me wonder who I was. By contrast, Western painters tried to tell me who they were.” Like McLaughlin, Baumann paints as much for the spectator as for herself.


Modernism is pleased to present its third one-person exhibition of paintings by Edith Baumann.
Baumann’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She lives and works in Santa Monica, California.