artist Arlene Baker will show works from her “Silk Spaces” series – “an
exploration of the aesthetics of the sublime on an intimate scale” — in an
exhibit that inaugurates the Humanities Gallery this fall at Union
The show runs October 8 through
November 22. The opening reception is Thursday, Oct. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Baker's “Silk Spaces” series
evolved a dozen years ago from earlier work in which she had explored the
interplay of colors, textures, horizons and space, first in large-scale canvas
hangings, and later in small-scale gouache-on-paper paintings.
“In this series, I restrict myself
to a uniform format — 8 inches x 20 inches unframed, 14 inches x 26 inches
framed — limiting my materials to paint, pins, paper, foam core board and
silk,” she said. “By painting with gouache, paper, pins, and transparent
overlays I create subtle interplays of color and texture that evolve into
intriguing spaces and horizons. In my
more recent paintings I focus on the contrast between the metallic glint of the
pins and the soft texture of the veils, emphasizing the ambiguity of surfaces.
I think of these veiled paintings as explorations of the aesthetics of the
sublime on an intimate scale.”
Baker, born and raised in New
York City, studied art at the City College of New
York. She continued her studies at the University
of Minnesota and at the University
of Iowa, where she earned her MA
and MFA degrees. She completed her
post-graduate education at various London
art schools and later became a member of an artists' collective known as the
Barbican Arts Group.
She has taught and been an
artist-in-residence at colleges and universities in Britain
and the United States,
including Union, where she was artist in residence in
1979. She has exhibited in the Midwest (including the
Detroit Institute of Art and the University
of Iowa), London,
New York City and Upstate New York
(including the Schenectady Museum). She returns to London
frequently to work with the Barbican Arts Group.
The Humanities gallery is on the
second floor of the south end of the Humanities
Building, opposite the entrance of
Memorial Chapel. Gallery hours are weekdays 2
to 5 p.m. For more information, call