Geary Contemporary is pleased to open this November with Excuse Me if I Get Too Deep , a solo exhibition of recent work by Chicago-based artist Leslie Baum. Geary Contemporary will be hosting an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, November 17th from 6-8 pm. This will be Baum's first solo exhibition with the gallery. Baum’s exhibition invites the viewer to a visual and tactile experience. Works on the floor, constructed for seating, offer an experiential invitation for contemplation, rest and reflection. Baum's works act as windows, doors, portals; in her words, “a universe within a universe, within a universe” where a shape becomes a form, becomes a sculpture, becomes a painting, becomes architecture.
The fragment is essential to Baum’s approach, with parts that function as building blocks for painting-based installations and also stand alone as wholly realized objects. She samples the modern painting canon across diverse media, scale, and approach, as filtered through the lens of her memory and the vagaries of digital representation. References to iconic paintings appear in varying degrees of legibility, where distortions and misquotations yield unexpected associations and meanings.
Baum’s work is not defined by art historical citation, but in what might lie beyond the threshold. What can be taken/borrowed and transferred to another material? Fragments occupy wall, floor, and shelf to “make visible what otherwise can’t be seen”, an ode to painting’s history and a celebration of its pluralistic present.
Leslie Baum lives and works in Chicago. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions including 65Grand, Chicago; Cleve Carney Art gallery, Glen Ellyn; 4th Ward Project Space, Chicago; Hap Gallery, Chicago; Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago; Geary Contemporary, New York. Her animation short, the Megillat Breakdown, made in collaboration with Frederick Wells, was included in the Wisconsin Union Film Committee at the University of Wisconsin 2015 experimental film series and in the 2014 Eyeworks Festival. Review and features in Artforum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, the Chicago Tribune, New American Paintings vol. 119, and 100 Painters of Tomorrow. Baum has received residencies at Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center.