“What interests me are the juxtapositions and sense of history derived from the words themselves even without knowing everything. I want to give you a sense of a particular environment but not in its entirety. The view is oblique and re-contextualized.” Erica Baum, 2020
About the artist
Fascinated by the printed word, concrete poetry, and the beauty of language permeating our daily lives, the American artist Erica Baum could be best described as a ‘poet-photographer’.
With her reflected, nonchalant use of strategies akin to the work of the Pictures Generation, conceptual art, and minimalism, Erica Baum has developed a unique and truly authentic visual language. For two decades now, her enigmatic close-ups of books, newspapers and other printed matter have been investigating the nature, traditions, and essences of the photographic, steadily ‘re-materializing’ its visual, haptic, and thematic qualities.
Erica Baum’s works are ‘photographic’ in a very specific fashion: alongside the fleeting and ephemeral quality of the constant flow of images on display, she places an object-like presence and a precise interest in the material context of photography. By developing her series of pictures in direct close-ups, focused on surprising details with a shallow depth of field, she evokes a poetic power: indexically precise and at the same time abstract and trans-temporal like a collage, fragmentary and yet possessing a narrative power; seemingly everyday, trivial, and at the same time charged.
Baum’s pictures are emotional in a special sense – they have a soul and demand the most careful attention. They question and confirm in very fundamental ways: text, image, writing – their message, significance, and use — an understanding of the essence of our culture.
“Though embracing elements of chance, her images are the result of intensive investigation. She hunts out materials from disparate places – estate sales, thrift stores, the streets of New York City – then sets to work with an almost archeological rigor, exploring just what they may have to say to us today.” Katie White, 2021
Dog Ear2011 soft-cover, color with essays by Kenneth Goldsmith and Béatrice Gross engl.
Sightings2011 140 x 225 mm 150 pages engl. Cover : Paperback, color, glossy finish Interior : black-and-white. Edition of 250, numbered.
The Naked EyeEssays by Cathleen Chaffee and Jean-Max Colard Graphic Design by Myriam Barchechat Printing by NPN Drukkers, Breda, NL October 2015 144 pages, Hard cover engl. 58 color plates Edition of 1200.
Dog Earhard-cover, color engl. First published in paperback in 2011, this reissued hardcover edition comes with a wraparound poster cover. with essays by Kenneth Goldsmith and Béatrice Gross.