Posted on Mar 23, 2005

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 23, 2005) – Schenectady 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.

The show runs April 1 through June 12.  The opening reception is Wednesday, April 6, 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.

Arlene Baker “Silk Spaces”

“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 388-8045.