Erica Baum
Off The Hook

01 MAR until 13 APR
Opening – 01 MAR, 6 – 9 pm

Erica Baum, Snap If, 2023, archival pigment print, 48 x 41 cm, ed. 6 + 2 a.p.

Klemm’s is excited to announce Erica Baum’s forthcoming exhibition Off The Hook. Her second solo show with the gallery Off The Hook will feature her new series entitled Fabrications

Baum has made a career mining printed sources for new and surprising juxtapositions of text and image. Over the past three decades she has focused on capturing serendipitous instances of found poetry, incidental beauty and humor, which would otherwise go unseen. The Fabrications series has grown out of the artist’s last body of work, Patterns, which looked closely at the graphic qualities, textures and compositions of the tissue-like printed layers of sewing guides. In looking for this type of vintage pattern over the past several years, Baum collected numerous specialty magazines from the 60s and 70s aimed at the domestic housewife, featuring fashion, sewing, cooking and home hobby projects. These pages contained a wealth of material from elegant and stylish spreads to positively zany handmade creatures. Baum’s photographic fabrications recognize and amplify the materiality of her subject matter, both the textiles depicted and the printed paper sources themselves. The new pieces are composed from fragments and slivers of the pages of these magazines and the resulting works embody a mysterious or whimsical sense of elegance. Many of the greyscale works feature glimpses of the human figure reminiscent of those from her celebrated Naked Eyeseries. The more colorful works offer levity with vivid slashes of halftone color, filled with unusual materials and bizarre characters.

The show title Off The Hook refers to the moment when a crochet piece is complete. A knot is formed as the hook is removed, preventing any loose strands of yarn from unraveling. It can also mean freedom from obligation or accountability. In the Fabrications series printed material is woven together through the collage process. Presented in a new context this imagery is ‘off the hook’ and freed from its source inviting a fresh view.

Erica Baum (b. 1961, New York; lives and works in New York) received her MFA from Yale University and her BA from Barnard College. Recent solo exhibitions include the bite in the ribbon, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, 2022; A Method of a Cloak, Square is the Chatter, Galerie Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf, 2020; A Method of a Cloak, Klemm’s, Berlin, 2020; A Long Dress, Bureau, New York, 2019; The Following Information, Bureau, New York, 2016. Group exhibitions include Pictures & After, MAMCO Genève, Geneva, 2023; True Pictures?, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, Braunschweig 2021; Pictures, Revisited, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2020; Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2019; Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works, The New York Public Library, New York, 2018; The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, The Jewish Museum, New York, 2017; Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2015; Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2015 and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, 2012. Her work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; MAMCO, Geneva; Albright‐Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; CNAP, Paris; FRAC Île de France, Paris; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. 

Baum’s Fabrications series is also the subject of her recently published, limited edition Artist Book with Three Star Books, Paris, which has been acquired by numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Tate Museums, London; The Getty, Los Angeles; The New York Public Library, New York; CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Frac Sud, Marseille; among others.