Fueled by the Southern California surf culture of his youth, as well as the history and contemporary practices of abstraction, John Bauer creates paintings that channel the infinite potential of both the Pacific Ocean and gestural articulation. Inspired by purists like Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko, and also postmodernists like Andy Warhol and Albert Oehlen, Bauer paints using both traditional and unconventional means. His more traditional works are generated by a process of daily interactions with his mid to large scale canvases, using brushes to build up, erase, and rework layers of gestural, exuberant marks. For his more experimental works, Bauer pulls from what he calls his “image bank” of Photoshop files. Using his computer, he crafts these images into an arrangement, which he then screen-prints in layers onto the canvas; creating works situated tantalizingly between the digital and the handmade.
While John Bauer’s canvasses, as large as 90 x 102 inches, contain hints of abstract expressionism, his creative process marries digital manipulation with traditional stenciling, spraying, rolling, brushing and printing, much of the hand work influenced by German post-war painting.
John Bauer was born in 1971 in San Diego and received his BA in Studio Art in 1993 from the University of California Santa Barbara. He has exhibited at Patricia Low Contemporary (CH), Maruani & Noirhomme (BE), Canada (NY), Garis & Hahn (NY), Saatchi Gallery (UK), and Kathleen Cullen Fine Art (NY), among others. He was awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and the NYFA New York Arts Recovery Grant. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.