Richard Baker & Tom Burckhardt

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
a, 2010 Gouache On Paper 12 X 10.5 In. © Courtesy of the Artist and Gregory Lind Gallery
Mye Technical Manuel, 2010 Colored Pencil And Acrylic On Book Cover 16.5 X 11.25 In. © Courtesy of the Artist and Gregory Lind Gallery
Richard Baker & Tom Burckhardt

49 Geary St.
Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
January 25th, 2011 - March 12th, 2011

Union Square/Civic Center
Tue-Sat 11-5:30 and by appointment.


Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring works on paper by Richard Baker and paintings by Tom Burckhardt. Both artists employ book covers in their works, but with divergent techniques.

Richard Baker has painted true-to-size interpretations of vintage paperback book covers, including classic titles from the 1950s through the 1970s, including literary luminaries such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Gertrude Stein, among others. Baker's oeuvre has evolved over years of commingling depictions of two-dimensional representations with a rendering of three-dimensional forms. He captures the details of not only the images themselves, but also the wear and tear of the books over the years, by emphasizing every crease, splotch, or imperfection--an apt metaphor for the process of aging and the absorption of history. As physical objects, the books represent the lure of memory, reverie, desire, and love. Baker's paintings are imbued with the recognition of books as powerful fetishes, icons, and containers of memory and emotion that serve as stand-ins and time-specific chronicles of our lives--accumulating the marks, stains, and innocent abuses associated with personal history and experience. He also includes the spine of the books in perspective, representing the books as objects of contemplation while also creating the illusion of space around the books.

Richard Baker has exhibited widely throughout the United States. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant and the New England Foundation for the Arts Grant.

Tom Burckhardt adds his own drawings and paintings to book covers, generating a sly, self-parodying approach to the process of revision and repurposing. His works are mostly abstract with figurative elements including the insinuation of heads and faces. Many of the pieces incorporate elements of the book covers, using details as compositional elements and color from the book cloth. In most, Burckhardt has used the front and back of the book covers to create diptychs, contrasting the book cloth with the end paper. Burckhardt has noted: "My aim is to make the more descriptive elements feel abstract and to push the abstract elements into the real world of space and gravity." Much of Burckhardt's visual language is based on ancient art from cultures in which symbolic and narrative forms appear as mysterious, indecipherable, and coded.

Tom Burckhardt has had many one-person exhibitions, and exhibited widely, including Full Stop, presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut in 2006; and a recent exhibition at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Association of Art Critics Award, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, a Guggenheim Foundation Grant in 2009, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for 2010.