Persona December, 16th 2021 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 345 - Renata Bauer

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 345 – Renata Bauer
Renata Bauer recently exhibited in the Hague Art Circle (Haagse Kunstkring) in the exhibition ‘VIER’. She did this together with Hans Ensink on Kemna, Michael Berkhemer and Marja van Bijlevelt.
I visit her in her studio in the center of Leiden. The studio is spacious and has windows high above, so that you only see the sky. It provides a beautiful light.

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Wall objects
Renata’s works at the The Hague Art Circle have something familiar and something unexpected. Strange, whimsical shapes protrude, sometimes extending over the edges of the work. I see some copies hanging in front of me on the wall.

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Renata calls them wall objects. “They are made of synthetic resin and epoxy. And also other materials, sometimes soil and sometimes PU foam. What is special about these shapes is that they have a sleek appearance, but if you look closely at them, you can see that the clean lines transition unnoticed into organic contours and whimsical lines.”

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It’s pretty undefined, Renata says, “but if you look closely at the contours, you can see certain areas. You see clean, industrial-like lines and you see lines that flow.” It turns out to be about things you can make and control and unexpected things that take their own path.

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They are new forms, which she herself does not know. When a work is finished, she analyzes it. “Is it l put together well? Does it have the right tension? If all goes well, the work has something ambivalent, it is not so defined. Precisely the undefined, elusive is interesting to me. If the work pointed to something obvious, I wouldn’t be satisfied.”

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Where does that come from, that simultaneous search for control and something unsteady? “I also feel it in my ordinary life. I’m always working on balance, to shape it, in all kinds of areas. I was born in Poland, have lived in Israel. I adapted to cultures, but I never felt completely aligned with those cultures. That might be where it comes from. I can work with it in art. Art has the power of nuance. And not: so it is / so it is not.”

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Key work
Does she have a key work, a work that set a new course in motion? “I don’t really have a key work, but I always work that helps me take the next step. I never looked for it like that. At a certain point in the process of making you start doing something else because there was a trigger in one or a few works that makes you think. You reflect on that, you take a break, and then you come to other things.”

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On the border
Renata has been an artist since 1984. Then she graduated from the AKI. After graduating, she received various stipends, including from the Visual Arts Fund. “That was amazing! A great incentive if you have just finished the training and are trying to find your way. Over the years I have exhibited in Leiden in Galerie De Stelling, Center for Visual Arts (CBK) and Museum de Lakenhal.”
She was part of the group ‘G5’ that often exhibited in various places in the Netherlands. “The similarity between the five artists in this group was that they all worked on the border of a certain area.” She made different works then than she does now.

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“For many years I was involved with fundamental data of painting: the structure, the shape, the monochrome areas of color, always on a rectangle. Until a moment that it started to feel like a kind of limitation. I started looking for another carrier. With the above result.”

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The organic and the chemical
Three years ago she joined The Hague Art Circle. “I met Hans Ensink at Kemna there. I knew him from long ago, he also did AKI. Then we decided to do something together. In 2020 we made the exhibition ‘Channels and Fields’. Then the idea arose for a larger exhibition. That became ‘FOUR’ (VIER).”
Finally, does she have a philosophy, if not already mentioned? “The balance I am looking for is in the form, but also in the materials: the combination of the organic (earth) and the chemical (paint, synthetic resin, epoxy). For me it is a reflection of this time.”

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