December 2, 2017 — January 6, 2018
Conduit Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Jeff Baker: Gridlocked.
Walking the streets of New York City with his camera, Jeff Baker set himself to the task of documenting the Lower East Side of Manhattan and telling its story as told through the layered wash of the brick walls, back doors and entryways. As noted by Baker, “I wanted the prints to exude the vibrancy and voice of the conversations plastered on the city’s doors and brick facades.”
In his second exhibition at Conduit Gallery, while exploring the same locations, Baker has turned his attention to the more abstract moments, appropriating less graphic content and focusing on the patterns, colors and compositions between the easily recognizable.
With a photographic approach akin to genre painters, Baker notes,
“Several of the images presented here address daily absurdities, such as the use of netting at construction sites as a barrier from steel I-beams that might come crashing down on unsuspecting passersby. There are even multiple layers of different types of netting material at these sites, as if one type prevents I-beam accidents while another is more successful in stopping … oh, let’s say …a construction crane. My partner Catherine used the term “optical interference” to describe these plastic veils protecting the resident from the inanimate dangers they are faced within the urban jungle.
I now live in Taos, as far removed from urban life as I’ve ever been; home to awe inspiring natural beauty as well as early American Modernism, and also home to the late artist Agnes Martin, who applied the grid for the sense of precision, structure and order she found as a panacea to her bouts of schizophrenia.
Whatever the implications, I’m truly enjoying this process, and while the content is evolving, what remains constant is the obsession with contemporary printing processes and the ability to produce a vitally dynamic image, something that makes one feel they can pull the image off the printed sheet, or just dive into it.
A long time commercial photographer, this exhibition is Baker’s second at Conduit Gallery. Jeff Baker lives and works in Taos, New Mexico.