Select Works by Donald Baechler
Donald Baechler (born 1956 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American artist. A part of a burgeoning Lower Manhattan arts scene in the early 1980s, Baechler showed in the East Village and exhibition spaces such as Artists Space and the Drawing Center. His source material draws broadly on classical art history, the New York School, contemporary art, folk art, outsider art, pop culture and childhood. Early works are noted for childlike imagery and thematic associations which have recurred throughout his career.
An excerpt from “Independent and International”
By Raphael Rubinstein
While Haring was at SVA, a dozen blocks away another young painter, Donald Baechler, was studying at Cooper Union. Although he initially showed at the same gallery (Tony Shafrazi Gallery) as Haring and favored a raw, intentionally primitive figuration, Baechler’s work is far more involved in traditional painterly issues. Often using found figure drawings, he juxtaposes objects and figures according to an oblique but graphically potent logic, as seen in the untitled 1988 painting in the Cottrell-Lovett collection. In a 2000 interview in Bomb magazine, Baechler spoke about the subjects of his work. “I think that, for me, the head is always a kind of surrogate for a self portrait, and the flowers almost a replacement for the human figure in the painting. I’ve made an almost intentional point of not studying botany or not learning what these flowers are that I’m drawing. I buy flowers at the Korean deli on the corner, but you know, I can barely distinguish between a tulip and a rose, which sounds stupid, but it’s true. For me a flower has this very convenient, almost human dimension, with the head and the stem and the leaves replacing certain body parts.” Another work in the collection, Flower #1 (1993), shows the result of Baechler’s surrogate figuration and his economical graphic sense.