Weng Contemporary



Donald Baechler

The American artist, who became part of the flourishing Lower Manhattan arts scene in the 1980s, showing in the East Village and exhibition spaces such as Artists Space and the Drawing Center. Baechler rose to prominence with his depictions of everyday objects and naive simple figures that appeal to the sentimental longing for childhood. As a student at Cooper Union, in the late 1970s, Baechler found himself surrounded by the works of Pop artists and Neo-Expressionists, who played a big role in influencing his style. He got acquainted with Tony Shafrazi, who was focusing on graffiti-oriented works, and founded a downtown gallery that represented Baechler, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and eventually Jean-Michel Basquiat. His use of various mediums in his paintings by combining drawings and collage. His imagery includes nostalgic banal objects that draw associations with childhood; grammar school primers, old maps, and children’s drawings, a skull, a rose, a globe, and a soccer ball. Despite the associations with the graffiti art movement, however, the artist emphasizes that his art is rooted in abstraction.

“ I'm an abstract artist before anything else, for me, it's always been more about line, form, balance and the edge of the canvas—all these silly formalist concerns—than it has been about subject matter or narrative or politics. „

Donald Baechler