Christiane Baumgartner: My First Sunrise
Born in Leipzig in 1967, the artist is best known for the monumental woodcuts she makes based on her own films, photographs and video stills. Due to the recent lockdown in Germany she has been unable to access the large sheets of wood she needs to make her vast prints but, undeterred, has continued to work with her own supply of smaller plates. Baumgartner has always been concerned with the evocation of movement and the play of light and this new woodcut conjures up the dazzling effect of a sunrise in the Middle East.
Totes Meer is based on a photograph taken by the artist many years ago on a visit to Israel and the West Bank. The view is of a sunrise over the Dead Sea (Totes Meer). In the last few years, Baumgartner has made several sunsets, but this is her first sunrise. She notes, ‘because the Dead Sea is so salty, it has a totally different feeling than all my other pieces of the Baltic sea and the Atlantic Ocean.’
The edition of 14 has been printed by hand in black and turquoise blue by the artist in her studio in Leipzig and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to receive prices or require any further information.
Baumgartner’s fifth solo exhibition with Cristea Roberts Gallery will open later in 2021.
Christiane tells the story behind the print here:
The woodcut is based on a photo I took in 2009 in Israel, on the border of the West Bank.
It was a cold November morning and we had decided to go swimming in the Dead Sea.
As we approached the sea, the sun rose over the Jordanian mountains.
We were just coming down a hill past an abandoned Israeli settlement. The landscape itself was not very charming, there were only stones and all the plants - palm groves - had dried up.
But the sea and the reflection of the light in the water was just remarkable.
The sky and the sea had the same cold blue colour, oily and dense – so different from reflections in other waters as I knew them up to then.
I kept this photo in my note box for a long time.
Only now, since I am dealing with the subject of light and immateriality, did it become important for my work.
The use of the second colour is of course particularly important in this case.
Film | Christiane Baumgartner: My First Sunrise
About the artist
About the artist
Christiane Baumgartner was born in 1967 in Leipzig, Germany, and studied there at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst before completing her Masters in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 1999.
Image: Baumgartner in her studio in Leipzig, Germany, in January 2020.