The amorphic, animalistic forms of German painter Michael Bauer are built upon color washes, meandering lines, and bulbous protrusions. Utilizing a variety of rendering techniques and materials, including pointillism, text and high-chroma colors, Bauer transforms his free-form compositions into dynamic and ornamented abstractions. He borrows from the colorful tradition of Modernist composition, juxtaposing collaged cutouts with a bevy of 20th century painting methodologies—including Cubist, Pop, and Surrealist techniques—to make the swirling paintings he’s become known for. Says Bauer of his process, “I will say, especially in paintings, there is always a figurative sense behind it. I look at figures and I look at inventions of figures. But then of course once you paint, it jumps back and forth between something that could be a landscape but is also certain color arrangements. So you’re constantly changing back in the way you look at it and in the way you work. It goes both ways.”
Michael Bauer (b. 1973, Erkelenz, Germany) studied at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in Braunschweig. Notable exhibitions include Men in Pain (Pool Party) at Norma Mangione (2016); Michael Bauer: Butter Bebop (Transatlantic Creme Dreams), Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2015); Creme Wars – Snoopie, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York (2014); Slow Future – H.S.O.P. – Opus, Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2013); K-Hole (Frogs), Villa Merkel, Esslingen am Neckar (2011); Marquis Dance Hall, Istanbul (2010); Anthem, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2009); and Kunstverein Bonn, Bonn (2007). Bauer is the subject of a substantial JRP Ringier monograph published in 2008, entitled Borwasser, and with a lead essay by Jennifer Higgie and an interview with Stefanie Popp. Bauer’s work is part of the Saatchi Collection, London and the Zabludowicz Collection, London. The artist lives and works in New York.