Christiane Baumgartner

Germany 1967


Christiane Baumgartner
Christiane Baumgartner
February 11, 2013
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Respect the tradition, but don’t be bound by it. Accept its foundations and use them to build your own style. In a way, this couple of statements could be used to describe the work of Christiane Baumgartner, a German contemporary artist working as a printmaker. It can be rather difficult to make a major breakthrough working solely in prints, as most of the museum and galleries around the world prefer those made by artists already established in other respected fields, such as painting or installations. Baumgartner overcame these difficulties and reached a level of wide international acclaim. Her woodcuts are especially popular.

Christiane Baumgartner gallery new exhibitions contact 2016 2011 use art museum information about alan cristea wald
Christiane Baumgartner – White Noise, 2013

Between the Extremes

She was born in Leipzig and formed herself, both as a person and as an artist, living in East Germany, which was under communist regime at the time. After the fall of Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany in 1990, she found herself living in a democratic society. This sort of extreme polarization continued in her artistic career. In her hometown, she studied at the Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst and went on to obtain Masters in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 1999. While in London, nearly two decades ago, Baumgartner was interested and worked almost solely in digital media. After returning to Germany, she’d realized just how far she had moved away from the tradition she was born out of. Wanting the bring these two traditions together, to reconcile the past with the present, she began working in more traditional forms of image reproduction. Love towards the wood played a big role in her decision to create these specific prints, but there were also more important conceptual reasons behind it. Already quite familiar with the digital, especially the video form, she wanted to combine two techniques – the video, which is a reproductive medium in itself, and woodcut, since it’s one of the earliest (quite possibly the earliest) forms of image reproduction. This ancient technique seemed as the most appropriate choice in her quest of converting the digital into analog. Baumgartner enjoys the directness of the wood possess, but also the fact that it is a natural material where the wood grains are easily visible.

She uses simple tools

Christiane Baumgartner 2016 images 2011 wald cristea
Christiane Baumgartner – Himmelblau, 2012

Slowing Down the Life

In the creation of her famous woodcuts, Baumgartner uses her own video stills. The choice of the image, its size and frequency, all of it happening on the computer, is the creative part of the process. This wonderful journey begins in the virtual world, where the image itself exists until it’s transferred onto the wood plate. She carefully cuts a grid of lines which she has previously transferred onto wood, and since this baseline grid is made on a computer, it is completely accurate. For the cutting process itself, she uses an old specially sharpened kitchen knife. Working with such a simple tool, and cutting the wood by hand, some mistakes and inaccuracies are bound to happen. They actually give the work some vitality. Once she has cut the whole image into the wood, which takes up to several months, she inks up the surface of the wood that hasn’t been cut, puts a sheet of paper onto it, and then rubs it off, the process that results in pure and simple woodcuts. Time is one of the key components in her work. Every print takes a significant amount of time to be made and yet manages to slow the time down by extending constitution of the image from a single moment to several months. She soon realized that the notion of time could be further explored and even more powerfully evident if the individual pieces were parts of a set, so she also creates an entire series of prints, all slightly different, but all thematically connected. Her earlier pieces were based on speed, which later evolved in car and street motifs, but also weapons and war. As she admits, “there is a certain beauty which often appears in connection with threat or violence of some kind.” The memories of war in still-existing tracks from the East Germany and television images of bombing from documentaries on the WWII are responsible for these works, all designed with symbols that burden our memories.

Every single print represents a search for the perfect interaction between the digital and analog

Christiane Baumgartner woodcut art 2016 alan information
Christiane Baumgartner – Solaris I, 2008

Notable Works

The choice of an ancient technique in the contemporary world and the specific skill set that Baumgartner possesses make most of her pieces quite memorable. The monumentality in scale came with the Transall (2002), a piece that stands out due to the fact that its source was a single photograph (compared with other works, taken from video stills). It depicts transporter planes waiting on the tarmac (the picture was originally from Der Spiegel). Monumental in size and physically immense, the image remains unstable, as the form of the planes tends to dissolve into abstraction when observed from a close distance. The experience of looking at the distant horizon while driving in a car is recreated in Skyline (2007). Once again exploring the view from a moving car, Baumgartner selected four scenes of motorway underpasses and created Solaris (2008). With predominant darkness, the lights from the underpass serve not to illuminate but to guide. Along with the edge of the road, these lights form markers for exploration of single point perspective, drawing the viewer towards that elusive vanishing point. Deep Water (2013) is a diptych and a multi-colored piece, which is a move away from Baumgartner’s usual monochromatic work. The title references the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, which happened whilst the artist was participating in a residency in Birmingham, when she collected the footage for the piece. Totentanz (2015), meaning the Dance of Death, is printed in electric blue, depicting the smoke trails of a plane which has been shot down and is falling from the sky.

An ancient technique in the contemporary world

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Christiane Baumgartner – Transall, 2002

Loving the Work

As stated above, it can be rather difficult to make a name for yourself when working mostly in printmaking. Baumgartner is truly fascinated by this form of image production, from frottage and other basic techniques to more complex ones such as etching and screen-printing. She has been making prints since her childhood and loves every bit of it. For her, the process of printmaking is not a substitute to the major disciplines of sculpting and painting, but rather a fully-fledged artistic technique, on par with the rest of them. Aside from woodcut, a discipline she’s most famous for, in the last couple of years Baumgartner also began working with some other techniques, such as photogravure and etching, and she began drawing again.

Christiane Baumgartner lives and works in Leipzig.

Featured image: Christiane Baumgartner – portrait, image copyright MAH Genève, Mike Sommer
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Licht-BilderGalerie Christian Lethert, KolnSolo
2016Landscapes after Ruskin: Redefining the SublimeHall Art Foundation, Reading, VermontGroup
2016TELE-GEN, Kunst und Fernsehen Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, VaduzGroup
2016obliqueS – Autour de Claude Parent Ecole superieure des Beaux-arts - Site du Mans, Le MansGroup
2016GroupshowGalerie Christian Lethert, KolnGroup
2016Des arbres, passionnementDitesheim & Maffei, Fine Art SA, Neuchâtel, CHGroup
2015White NoiseMusee d'art et d'histoire de GeneveSolo
2015Prix de Gravure Mario Avati – Academie des beaux-arts 2014Palais de l'Institut de France, ParisSolo
2015TELE-GEN, Kunst und Fernsehen Kunstmuseum BonnGroup
2015Leipzig Unfolding The Lloyds Club, LondonGroup
2015PRINT La Cambre Gallery 425, BruxellesGroup
2015Fresh Prints: The Nineties to Now The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OHGroup
2015Hangung #13: ein Moment – ewigKunstwerk – Sammlung Alison und Peter W. Klein, Eberdingen-NussdorfGroup
2015Playing it Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism TodayFaulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IAGroup
2014TotentanzAlan Cristea Gallery, London Solo
2014White Noise Museum Kunstpalast, DusseldorfSolo
2014White Noise Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimee, La Louviere, Belgique Solo
2014Furs All GenugStadtische Galerie, Wolfsburg Group
2014Proof It!Stadtische Galerie, Wolfsburg Group
2014History's Shadow: German Art and the Formulation of National Identity Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TennesseeGroup
2014The Negligent Eye The Bluecoat Gallery, LiverpoolGroup
2013Gathered Beyond The Impasse; The Inaugural Show Art Factum Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon Group
2013Thirteen Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Under the Greenwood St. Barbe Museum, LymingtonGroup
2013Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War Imperial War Museum, ManchesterGroup
2013Continental Drift: Themes in European Art Whitworth Museum, ManchesterGroup
2013Hangung #10: Ankommen Kunstwerk – Sammlung Alison und Peter Klein, Eberdingen-Nussdorf Group
2013Accrochage – Neuerwerbungen. Zeitgenossische Kunst und Fotografie Kunsthaus Zurich, CH Group
2013Von Georg Baselitz bis Daniel Richter Lyonel Feininger Galerie, QuedlinburgGroup
2013Estuary Museum of London Docklands, LondonGroup
2013Conflicted Memory Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Metropolis: Reflections on the modern city Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, BirminghamGroup
2013give me five! Neuerwerbungen der Graphischen Sammlung Stadel Museum, FrankfurtGroup
2013jetzt hier. Gegenwartskunst. Aus dem Kunstfonds Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, DresdenGroup
2012Holzschnitt im digitalen Zeitalter Goethe-Institut, VietnamSolo
2012Albertina Contemporary Albertina, ViennaGroup
2012Bis Hier – 50 Jahre Kunstverein Bochum Kunstmuseum BochumGroup
2012horizontal Gesellschaft fur Kunst und Gestaltung e.V., BonnGroup
2012Zum Einhunderfunfundzwanzigsten Kunstverein UlmGroup
2012Beyond MemoryMuseum on the Seam, Jerusalem Group
2012Neue Realitaten. FotoGrafik von Warhol bis Havekost Galerie Stihl, WaiblingenGroup
2012There is a place…The New Art Gallery WalsallGroup
2011Schnitte ins Herz und in die Augen / Cuts into the Heart and Eyes Museum Franz Gertsch, BurgdorfSolo
2011Reel Time Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonSolo
2011saxonia paper – Zeichnung in SachsenKunsthalle der Sparkasse, LeipzigGroup
2011CloserBinzwanger & Kuhn, BaselGroup
2011Chemin faisant / Along the Way La Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimee, La LouviereGroup
2011SequencesJohan Deumens Gallery, De Drie Heuvelen, AmsterdamGroup
2011Neue Realitaten. FotoGrafik von Warhol bis HavekostKupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu BerlinGroup
2011Figutive Visions David Krut Projects, New YorkGroup
2011Von Durer bis Baumgartner Museum der bildenden Kunste LeipzigGroup
2011Constellation of LinesJohan Deumens Gallery, LeipzigGroup
2011LUBOK: Kunstlerbucher aus LeipzigStadtisches Kunstmuseum Spendhaus ReutlingenGroup
2011Wide Angle: Photography and Its Influence on Contemporary ArtFine Arts Gallery, Vanderbilt University, NashvilleGroup
2011Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent CollectionThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkGroup
2010Out of the Blue Spinnerei archiv massiv, LeipzigSolo
2010New Art Now!Birmingham Museums & Art GalleryGroup
2010Eleven Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonGroup
2010New Works: Prints, Drawings, CollagesMuseum of Fine Arts, BostonGroup
2010Washi made in Germany TAM Tokyo Art MuseumGroup
2010Schnittstelle Druck Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst LeipzigGroup
2010BorderlinesCabinet d'arts graphiques, GeneveGroup
2010The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place 176Zabludowicz Collection, LondonGroup
2010KunstlerbucherKulturbahnhof Eller, DusseldorfGroup
2010Philagrafika 2010, The Graphic UnconsciousPennsylvania Academy of the Fine ArtsGroup
2010In On Under Above and WithBarbara Krakow Gallery, BostonGroup
2009Luftbild Johan Deumens Gallery, HaarlemSolo
2009Teresa Bulgarini Preis for Contemporary Art Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, SalzburgSolo
2009Woodcuts nowBaltimore Museum of ArtGroup
20091x10=20, Die sechzehnte Leipziger JahresausstellungJoseph-Konsum LeipzigGroup
2009Carte Blanche IX: Vor heimischer KulisseGalerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, LeipzigGroup
2009Schatzhaus Spendhaus Stadtisches Kunstmuseum ReutlingenGroup
200960/40/20. Kunst in Leipzig seit 1949 Museum der bildenden Kunste LeipzigGroup
2009Leipzig calling: Twenty Years after the Iron CurtainNew York Academy of ArtGroup
2009Capturing timeKadist Art Foundation, ParisGroup
2009Building a Collection: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and DrawingsNational Gallery of VictoriaGroup
2009WerkschauLeipziger BaumwollspinnereiGroup
2009Irritations – Portfolios depuis 1980Musee d’Art et d’Histore, Genf Group
200960 Jahre. 60 Werke.Martin Gropius Bau, BerlinGroup
2009Carte Blanche VI: VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG EAST-for the recordGalerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, LeipzigGroup
2009Lubok. Originalgrafische BilderbucherMuseum der Bildenden Kunste LeipzigGroup
2009BEST OF AUSTRIA - Eine Kunstsammlung Lentos Kunstmuseum, LinzGroup
2008Solaris Spacex, ExeterSolo
2008Screen Shot Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonSolo
2008Rasender Stillstand Stadtisches Kunstmuseum Spendhaus ReutlingenSolo
2008Editions and Acquisitions 2008Alan Cristea Gallery, LondonGroup
200810, The Chris Orr YearsUpper Gulbenkian Gallery, Royal College of Art, LondonGroup
2008Het Archief, deel 1 - The Archive, part 1Johan Deumens Gallery, Haarlem Group
2008Gouge: The Modern Woodcut 1870 to NowHammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2008100 Jahre HolzschnittKunsthalle EmdenGroup
2008... And Then Again: Printed Series, 1500 - 2007Hammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2008I bought the Brooklyn BridgeKupferstichkabinett, BerlinGroup
2008Konstellationen IIIStadel Museum, FrankfurtGroup
2008Water_pleaseKunstverein, UlmGroup
2007Christiane Baumgartner und David Schnell Monchehaus Museum fur moderne Kunst, GoslarSolo
2007Momentan+++ Museum der bildenden Kunste LeipzigSolo
2007Multiple InterpretationsThe New York Public LibraryGroup
2007Kunst nach 1970Albertina, WienGroup
2007openingJohan Deumens Gallery, HaarlemGroup
2007More Than OneFine Arts Gallery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeGroup
2007The Unbound Eyes of Anxiousness27. Grafik Biennale, LjubljanaGroup
2007A travers le miroir (western moderne)Musee d'Art et d'Archeologie, Les Ecuries, AurillacGroup
2007On memoryJohan Deumens in collaboration with Gallery Tanja Rumpf, HaarlemGroup
2007made in LeipzigSchloss Hartenfels, TorgauGroup
2007Transgression/ExcessSpace Other, BostonGroup
2006Die Divergenz von Geschwindigkeit und Stillstand Kunstverein UlmSolo
2006Landschaft Kunstverein BayreuthSolo
2006Van Leipzig naar Amsterdam Johan Deumens, HeemstedeSolo
2006Eye on Europe: Prints, Books & Multiples, 1960 to Now The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2006Art, Life & Confusion 47th October Salon, BelgradGroup
2006Spinnerei Deutsche Botschaft, LondonGroup
2006Artists books from Germany Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota Group
2006Made in Leipzig: Bilder aus einer Stadt Sammlung Essl, KlosterneuburgGroup
2006Changing Horizons De Vishal, HaarlemGroup
2006Biella Prize for Engraving 2006 – Art in the Age of AnxietyMuseo del Territorio di BiellaGroup
2006Art of the Journey: Travels in supermodernity Clifford Chance, LondonGroup
2006On both sides of the road De Bewaerschole, Burgh-HaamstedeGroup
2006The World is Turning Domo Baal, LondonGroup
2005Christiane Baumgartner Domo Baal, LondonSolo
2005Christiane Baumgartner Ikon Gallery, BirminghamSolo
2005Fahrt II Johan Deumens, HeemstedeSolo
2005Rough Diamond Program Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Dorothea von Stetten-Kunstpreis Kunstmuseum Bonn,Group
2005Final Editions & Artists books Johan Deumens, Wetering Galerie, AmsterdamGroup
2005Christiane Baumgartner und Marcel Buhler Galerie Echolot, BerlinGroup
2005Spinnerei Bunkier Sztuki, KrakowGroup
2005Wahlverwandtschaften Das Stadel, Frankfurt am MainGroup
2005Streiflichter Kunstfonds des Freistaates Sachsen, Kunstsammlungen der Stadtischen Museen ZwickauGroup
2004Holzschnitte Galerie Echolot, BerlinSolo
2004Christiane Baumgartner Kunstverein Bochum, Haus KemnadeSolo
2004EAST internationalNorwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art and Design, NorwichGroup
2004Tiefsee Galerie Echolot, BerlinGroup
2004Leipzig in Hamburg Produzentengalerie, HamburgGroup
2004Exile Tallinn Print Triennial, TallinnGroup
200410 + 1 Galerie Echolot, BerlinGroup
2004Die Reise - In den Garten Panzerhalle, Potsdam/Gross GlienickeGroup
2003Look twice Kunstverein GeraSolo
2003Speed/Standstill Domo Baal contemporary art, LondonSolo
2003Speed/Standstill Galleri LNM, Landesforeningen Norske Malere, OsloSolo
2003Speed/Standstill Preistragerausstellung der 9. Leipziger JahresausstellungSolo
2003Schnittstellen - InterfacesFukumitsu Art Museum, Kyoto Seika UniversityGroup
2003Ex PressRoyal College of Art, LondonGroup
200313+, Kunstlerbucher aus Deutschland The Print Center, PhiladelphiaGroup
2003Die Zehnte 10. Leipziger Jahresausstellung, LeipzigGroup
2002Leipziger Kunst - aktuelle Positionen9. Leipziger Jahresausstellung, LeipzigGroup
2002WunschbilderKunstfonds des Freistaates Sachsen, Museum der bildenden Kunste LeipzigGroup
2002Schnittstellen - InterfacesStadtisches Kunstmuseum, Spendhaus ReutlingenGroup
2002100 Sachsische Grafiken IVNeue Sachsische Galerie, ChemnitzGroup
2002Einblicke - InsightsTakeo Gallery, TokyoGroup
2002Junge Kunst VIgalerieKleindienst, LeipzigGroup
2001Never look hereFoyles Gallery, LondonGroup
2001Erworben / 2Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Georgenbau,Group
2000Synopse – Parallele Texte Performance, Louis Miethe, LeipzigSolo
2000EditionaleKunstforum, KolnGroup
2000Craft from ScratchMuseum fur Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt,Group
200015. Internationale Triennale fur OriginalgrafikKunstgesellschaft, Grenchen, Group
2000Vom HolzStadtisches Kunstmuseum Spendhaus, Reutlingen,Group
Christiane Baumgartner Explores Contemplative Abstract Landscape in Exhibition at Christian Lethert

Christiane Baumgartner exhibition showcases the mastery of this innovative printmaking artist, featuring her woodcut prints that resemble illusion art

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