Catherine Baumhauer is an Los Angeles-based artist with a wide range of experience from working in animation, film, and advertising.
My work is the result of a process-driven practice, which fuses traditional art mediums with found materials such as pieces of refuse (metal, styrofoam, scrap papers, fabric) or natural elements (bark, sand, etc). This mixed-media approach achieves a rich visual dynamic and establishes connections to the surrounding environment, bolstering certain metaphors represented by the detritus of urban experience. I’m interested in the duality between humankind’s reverence for nature and its role in undermining the natural world—a contrast that is clearly visible everywhere especially living in an urban environment. I also often find myself drawn to the question of what it means to be a woman in modern society, one who is cast in many roles: mother, wife, daughter, sister, self. The recurring female figures inhabiting my work are visual manifestations of this inquiry into both my own identity as a woman and the broader notion of female identity at this moment in history.
The concept of duality is central to much of my work, both formally and conceptually. The textured layers I create generate binary relationships between representational imagery and abstraction, whereby such figures and/or forms emerge that represent oppositional forces—pastoral versus industrial, domestic versus feral, or masculine versus feminine.
I tie and bind cultural and personal associations to objects, forms, figures and materials that are disrupted through formal play and explorations of painterly and textural space. Fractured narratives are built using both abstract and representational languages. Creating temporary textures, color-saturated fields, my work addresses a tension of opposites.
2006 MFA in Experimental Animation, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
2005 BFA in Painting, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2004 Ecole des Beaux Arts a Paris, Paris France