Paintings by Sarah Lutz And Richard Baker
by Laura Shabott
Jean-George Vongerichten, a New York celebrity restaurateur, describes “amuse-bouche” as the “best way for a great chef to express his or her big ideas in little bites.” It is a fitting thematic for the work of two remarkably talented painters — Richard Baker and Sarah Lutz — in their collaborative site-specific show this August in The Gallery at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.
This departure into installation as a form of expression comes from Baker’s exploration of the genre with “Holiday” this past February at New York’s Tibor De Nagy Gallery. “An artist friend said to me during a visit, ‘Your studio is the art.’ So, I re-created elements of it within the gallery,” Baker said. This visitor’s keen observation, along with “Against Interpretation,” an essay by Susan Sontag and Jacques Tati’s film, “Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday,” were the inspirations for this formidable painter and sculptor’s groundbreaking show.
Baker exalts the sort of things that inhabit our environment without our really looking at them; for example, a dense tabletop accumulation of cereal boxes, candy, paper, book covers, pencils and martinis anchored in a surreal landscape.
“Recently, I have flirted with pop art but my work is not about objectification,” he said. “My paintings of book covers and comic books that are important to me are intimate; an invitation for the viewer to evoke feelings and emotions of their own experiences with books and everyday objects.”
Baker has a deep bond with Provincetown and the outer Cape; initially, he worked in the summer and painted in the winter. He became a Fine Arts Work Center Fellow for two consecutive residencies, then accepted the position of visual arts coordinator for an additional two years. His journey is one that embodies the spirit of the enduring arts