by Maria Doubrovskaia and Andra Bilici

Artist and architect, Caspar Baum is in possession of a uncommon present: the potential to tactic the world from the standpoint of two disciplines at the moment. It is not unusual for architects to excel at drawing: Le Corbusier’s sketchbooks, for illustration, show artistry as perfectly as excellent craftsmanship. Some artists choose architecture as their major subject. The eighteenth-century artist Giovanni Piranesi was a skilled architect, but ultimately his eyesight was that of an artist. His overall body of operate culminated in the perfectly-recognised “Carceri” etchings: a series of darkish improvisations on the topic of architecture. Even so attractive Le Corbusier’s drawings and remarkable the architectural fantasies of Piranesi, equally stayed inside of the parameters of their picked out artwork, utilizing the language of the other self-control to produce their personal.

Caspar Baum is a distinctive style of artist. Equally passionately involved in his operate as a painter and an architect, Baum utilizes these two disciplines as two modalities of exploration. 3-dimensional constructions offer you the opportunity to examine place, mild, and shade as functional environments. His drawings and paintings investigate the aesthetic capabilities of these elements in two-dimensions.

On a sunny working day in February, Agora’s Andra Bilici fulfilled with Caspar Baum at his studio in Athens, Greece to explore Caspar’s lifestyle and vocation in artwork, his perspective on the partnership in between his two occupations and his love of vacation.

How do you successfully reconcile and observe architecture and portray? How do you do it?

House connects equally disciplines. I obtain that the core component of architecture is place: a functional place and an aesthetic place. Also in artwork, there is constantly an mental place. Even if it’s two-dimensional: a portray on the wall. Wherever the artwork is exhibited, there is an mental place. You can see that a large amount of distinctive artworks look quite distinctive in distinctive areas. It can make a massive big difference if the place is massive or small, if there is a large amount or very little mild. So for me, this combine can make it a lot richer. As an architect, you understand the place far better – perspective, constructional place. As an artist, you operate a lot additional with the sensorial knowledge of the floor, shade, of the haptic value of a little something that you can contact. I consider that for me this is the major link. I utilised to also do stage architecture, which is pretty much the changeover from authentic place into virtual place.

Have you ever created a property and then embellished it with your artworks?

I have not. I have worked on tasks where later they would question me if I would be interested to promote them my artwork. Really, this took place in a massive setting up in Athens. But the property was not established for the artwork. What I would love to do is to style and design a place for a specific operate of artwork.

Do you prefer classical architecture or minimalism?

I prefer the minimalist fashion, like Japanese or Scandinavian architecture, or the bungalow fashion with glass, and wood, and stone. Exterior Copenhagen, there is a museum, the Louisiana Museum of Modern day Artwork, that affected me a large amount. It has the finest Giacometti collection in the world. This museum is basically built close to artwork. So they have specified sculptures or sketches in areas that interact with character. There is glass that performs with mild. I assume that is quite exciting. In Houston, there is yet another museum-the Menil Selection- with a good Cy Twombly collection, also built close to the artwork. The setting up is built close to the paintings, which I obtain intriguing, of course.

Caspar Baum in his Athens household, talking to Agora Gallery’s social media coordinator Andra Bilici

Aside from the noticeable big difference in between artwork and architecture, are there any other distinctions in between the form of place that you develop as an architect as opposed to a painter?

Of course, for illustration, I assume a virtual place is quite exciting. In artwork, you can develop virtual place. Search at my paintings: they have distinctive layers and deep place. In artwork, you can open up the made place into a virtual fact place. In the Baroque moments, they get in touch with that Trompe-l’œil. It is form of like pretty much a semi-sculptural place that is enclosed, and then, generally, you can see a yard over and above it, by means of openings in the partitions, doorways, terraces, or home windows. In artwork, you can also develop an knowledge of the substance, for illustration, when you look at Japanese artwork. I am quite fascinated by the way substance is addressed in Japanese artwork. For instance, they use a specified paper which has a specific substance top quality, and when they put it on a wall or put it in a setting up they really use it to cover the setting up. So, they could possibly have a quite minimalistic setting up and then the artwork on the wall gives the decoration. In Arabic artwork, there is a related concept, but they use carpets to cover brick partitions. In theory, it is an extension of the authentic place into a distinctive substance, which is sometimes an artwork. Which is why I obtain that the architectural place as opposed to synthetic place has a quite exciting distinction. Currently, I have an concept to do an exhibition with only just one massive portray in a minimal place.

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I see that you are traveling a large amount due to the character of your operate. What is the partnership in between vacation and artwork for you? Have the destinations that you saw affected you? Do you have is effective influenced by Europe?

Of course. So, I have is effective influenced by Greece, specially by historic Greek architecture. I did a exhibit in Athens pretty much twenty many years back with only paintings of historic temples, quite massive paintings. I was quite lucky for the reason that most of them are really in different collections in Athens. Then, I also did is effective about Gothic architecture. I was quite influenced by the Gothic church buildings of France, Germany, and the cathedrals which are quite vertical, with loads of mild coming by means of these vertical constructions. I assume vacation and distinctive cultures are extremely essential for artists unless of course you make quite introverted artwork or quite esoteric artwork, like a monk. It is essential for architects too. Journey exposes you to distinctive views on issues and distinctive mild, distinctive hues, distinctive cultures.

A short while ago, I have been doing the job on some new pieces which I have not shown still. What I obtain exciting is how lifestyle alterations, and how it influences the way persons adjust. I obtain that we are living in a quite tough period of time. People are completely globally linked. But as a final result, they are getting rid of additional and additional of their individuality, starting to be too drawn into and affected by the net. I value friendship and excellent pals quite a lot, and I see a large amount of persons close to me who are depressed. In recent moments melancholy, disappointment, uncertainty about targets and focus in lifestyle are quite widespread. I try, with a large amount of sketches and other operate, to translate that into artwork. I want to depict this adjust in lifestyle, this adjust in persons, in my artwork. You start out to see lifestyle shifting for the worse, and the adjust inspires you to make artwork for the reason that ultimately artwork is a reflection of inspiration and strategies. At the second, I am making an attempt to figure out how I can do this. I have tried out to operate with darkish hues or with a bit of distinction in between darkish and mild. The other factor which I do is to examine in depth, so for illustration, for the very last two-a few many years, I have been definitely into Asian culture. I studied Asian culture. I figured out, for illustration, that in regular Asian culture paintings are not put on the wall. They are possibly decorative elements or they are saved in drawers. When you want to see a portray you have to open up the drawer. You basically acquire out the portray to have a look at the portray. So, you focus on just one particular portray at a time, which I obtain quite exciting.

This is definitely distinctive from how we look at artwork in the Western culture.

Of course, just, of course. Very distinctive. When I invested a large amount of time in Italy, I invested some time in a German monastery in Venice. I was able to see Venice at all moments of the yr. I was quite a lot affected by distinctive kinds of artmaking. In aged Venetian colleges (“scuole”) artwork was additional like a approach. So they would have massive studios with workers. People would be quite specialized in a little something, for illustration, in the shade blue, or they would have a specialist in the shade purple, or they would have a specialist who would operate with gold and large-value metals in the shade. The portray would be a blend of distinctive persons doing the job on just one portray and the learn would supervise the portray. Tiepolo, for illustration, experienced pretty much an industrial production of paintings for massive church buildings all about Europe. So then, this philosophy receives quite a lot into what I am executing at this second. It influences my operate and for a specified time period of time, I’m making an attempt to focus on this specific influence.

Do you have a specific series that you established or just one operate that you contemplate your favourite?

Of course, the Gothic Visions exhibition in a museum in Germany. I showed huge drawings. These are like seven-eight meters very long and about two-a few meters large. They are quite a lot affected by Gothic architecture. For me, this was just one of the most intense phases of my lifestyle. They are huge, definitely some of them only a few persons can have them. Then I did this in charcoal and pencil.

Then I did oil paintings dependent on drawings and then they grew to become additional and additional abstract. For illustration, there is just one which is basically the watch into the tower of a church. I was quite lucky, I acquired a massive studio subsequent to just one of these Gothic cathedrals. I would go to operate each working day in the cathedral and operate on these massive scale drawings. So this was the most extreme period of time for me.

Are these all offered? Or do you retain just one? It is your favourite and you did not retain just one.

Of course. They’re all long gone. I have just one or two remaining. But the vast majority is long gone.

Is there a issue that you wanted to reply but no person ever requested you about your artwork?

It is funny, I’ve constantly experienced troubles talking about my artwork for the reason that in artwork you constantly start out in just one spot but finish up in a entirely distinctive spot. It is like that with architecture as perfectly. You have a distinctive concept and then it develops, and you obtain new issues on the way, and finish up someplace else. And the ending can be far better or worse than the commencing. For me, it was constantly quite tough to reply what I am exhibiting in my artwork and really, I generally do not like to chat about what I am feeling and why I’m portray. I prefer that persons knowledge artwork for on their own. But, interestingly ample, no just one has ever requested me why I paint. I could be building songs or sculpture. Why portray? I do not know. I generally question myself. Maybe it’s for the reason that when I was a youngster my parents took me to museums a large amount. You vacation and then you go to the museums. Typically, youngsters hate that. I was constantly fascinated by portray. I constantly located oil portray intriguing. The distinctive hues, the textures, the mixing of shade, specially in some of the quite massive late Medieval and Baroque paintings. Most almost certainly, I constantly imagined that it’s a little something you can discover. I constantly favored sketching. I cannot be with no getting a pencil or sketching. For me, it is the nicest activity. Portray, executing artwork, becoming creative is meditation. I love paper. I love distinctive pencils, distinctive media on distinctive papers or canvas. It is a quite delicate course of action of executing artwork.

You talked about opera. Do you have a favourite opera?

Of course, I do. Of course, it’s a modern opera. I utilised to operate with a composer, Hans Werner Henze. He has passed away. But he was a up to date songs composer. He wrote a large amount of operas. My initial authentic obtain to energetic theater operate, where I was as a stage architect, was identified as König Hirsch (The Stag King). That was in Stuttgart. For me, it was a turning issue in my artwork vocation for the reason that we worked in the opera and the opera is a fairytale in the forest. It is attractive. It is intimate, with modern songs and modern instruments. There are also ballet scenes. So I acquired obtain to the Stuttgart ballet which is pretty well-known. They requested me if I could do some drawings of just about every of the ballet dancers. This was a huge job for the complete ballet. They gave me a thirty day period to make massive drawings of the ballet dancers, which I did. I obtained an award for it. I commenced to do a large amount of the sketching and drawing in the theater. I invested a large amount of time in the theater. It pretty much grew to become my studio. Several persons do not like opera, but you need to have obtain to it. For me, opera is a little something in between fact and theater. It is a little something that is carrying you away and…

Do you listen to opera when you develop?

Of course, a large amount. Completely, I really pretty much only operate with songs. So, I have two quite massive places for songs – opera and specific opera. I quite a lot like modern and up to date opera, for illustration, by Henze. I also like late eighteenth century opera and I like Russian piano songs. I like Shostakovich: all this totally passionate songs. I’m doing the job a large amount. I would say am quite challenging doing the job in my artwork. I generate all the time. Energetic songs gives quite excellent help. I’m also not doing the job very long. What I do is operate for 4 or 5 hours a working day in a quite concentrated way and then probably I do complex operate, like preparing canvas or shopping for issues I need. I have a quite intense operate window. I simply cannot be disturbed, quite concentrated. When I see that it does not operate, I just end and then wait for yet another working day. Which is how I generate. I generate a large amount of operate. I’m not guaranteed if it’s excellent or not excellent but it’s what I like.

You say that in your paintings you are affected by the mild and structure of objects. When on the lookout at your operate, darkness not mild is the distinguished subject. Certainly, your fascination in mild differs from that of the Impressionists for illustration. What does the partnership in between mild and darkness suggest for you as a painter? If there’s a symbolic facet to this partnership?

It depends on where I am. In Greece, there is a large amount of mild. For illustration, when I was doing the job in Greece, a large amount of my operate you saw in the studio, the yard, the constructions were quite a lot illuminated. There was a large amount of mild on the objects. When you vacation in Asia, significantly in the tropical landscape, turn into quite exciting at night time. They’re not illuminated but they on their own illuminate. If you look at this portray, you can see, the background is darkish but the character reveals alone by means of its shade. There’s no mild on it, it’s just its personal shade. The is effective selected for the exhibition at Agora all have a darkish background. The shade of the character is on a darkish background. When you look into a tropical forest, the initial factor you see is the darkish. The tropical is so dense, it’s darkish and then you see the distinctive greens, hues of bouquets, of animals. I obtain darkness inspiring for the reason that it’s by significantly additional delicate. It isolates the elements in a delicate way. When you look in aged church buildings, in particular, the late Renaissance church buildings and Gothic cathedrals, you see that in the vast majority it is darkish. So you will see a darkish background and almost everything that you want to crystalized comes to the foreground. It is the course of action of portray reversed! You paint darkish behind and then you move with the shade to the entrance, to the entrance layer. So this is how I am doing the job in the vast majority of the paintings we are exhibiting in New York. In the vast majority of all those paintings, I have been doing the job from the background to the entrance.

Caspar Baum interview
Caspar Baum’s artwork in the artist’s Athens apartment

Then, in the finish, you can see that there are these very little white or mild green places, which crystalize closest to you. It is quite distinctive from character that we see right here, significantly in the Mediterranean region. When you look at the olive trees in the wind, when they move, they get this silver-green shade. It is just illuminated by the sunshine. While, in Asian landscape paintings, it’s really quite a lot by alone illuminated.

Gathering artwork is a really involving and psychological knowledge. The artist’s course of action and intention are some of the things that make just one fall in love with his or her piece. Study additional about our artists’ creative approaches and intriguing strategies in the Center Stage and Artist Approaches types.

Caspar Baum’s is effective will be on watch at Agora Gallery from Could 11 by means of Could 31, 2019. You can watch additional of his is effective on ARTmine.

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