With the signature style of Baroque Simplicity he developed 40 years ago – an oxymoronic visual contradiction utilizing spare expanses of white ground punctuated by deceptively simple yet elaborate imagery – Ed Baynard pushes his most recent works over the top without losing his formally minimalist foundation. Referencing via simulation the rich gold leaf of Art’s history of patronage as well as the Post-Modernist’s love of bold, graphic drawing ushered in by Lichtenstein and Warhol in the 1960s, Baynard intentionally employs not gold but rather the humblest medium – golden-hued acrylic glue – to outline gorgeously painted flora and fauna in rich colors recalling the Renaissance.
These lustrous interlacings shimmer like spiderweb traceries, dancing across expanses of white, seducing the viewer into oases of beauty – moments of respite in which to dream. In his latest “the broken trees” series (the paintings that follow his “emblematic vessels”) the images of nature that had been intertwined in golden webs have been set free, yet they remain interconnected in circles of eco-activity that, like the iconic, mythical circle of the sun itself, recalls nature’s timeless recycling of life and Baynard’s concerns for our increasingly compromised environment. Baynard’s oeuvre affords us an opportunity to drop out of our complex warp speed lives to be steeped for a moment in unapologetically blatant sheer beauty.
Joyce Korotkin is a NY based artist and critic represented by Skylight Gallery, New York. Her work is in museum and public collections. She has written feature articles, reviews and catalog essays for numerous publications including ArtReview, ArtNews and Tema Celeste among others.
Ed Baynard lives and works in New York. His first exhibition was in 1971 at the legendary Willard Gallery. His work in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, TATE, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center, The High Museum among others.