LIGHT AND HEAVY
Baer Ridgway Exhibitions: Special Project Space
January 9 - February 13th, 2010 | Opening Reception: Saturday, January 9th, 4-7PM
A quiet wisdom presents itself through the use of humble materials and simplicity of form in Christopher Baird's latest body of work, Light And Heavy. Using stretched sheets of woven polyethylene tarp, Baird creates new associations that far extend the utilitarian assumptions of the material and presents thoughtful considerations on the commonplace and the profound.
Baird's Tarp Paintings reference the versatility and protective qualities of the material. Often found covering objects as diverse as semi-truck trailers and piles of stone, used as makeshift shelters, or yet just as often left as garbage, the value of a tarp has significant contradictions and disparities. In a gallery setting, the presentation of the stretched tarp material has a likeness to the conceptual color field work of the 1960's and 70's California painting movements. On closer inspection of Baird's work, the surfaces seem suggestive of the subtle line quality found in drawing. With even further investigation, the viewer finds the surface tension to offer a perceptual illusion much like optical painting.
Baird's major influences are rooted in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest where his childhood mentors were skilled outdoors men, loggers and craftsmen who knew how to effectively use the ubiquitous tarp sheeting to buffer man's vulnerability in nature. Baird's new works present a history and a story through old, new and recovered materials that reveal a specific time and place.
Christopher Baird was born in Portland Oregon in 1976. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2002. Baird has exhibited locally and internationally and is the recipient of the Golden Award for painting.