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Nicoletta Baumeister: In the Realm of Perception

Take a look at the world of human perception through paintings by a local Surrey artist.

Nicoletta Baumeister uses her art to question the way we come to understand the world around us. Through her exploratory practice, Baumeister's paintings generate a field of inquiry that connects with subjects such as psychology, philosophy, physics, and more. Bridging the gap between their subject and the viewer, each work questions the hierarchy of the visual world, referencing the deep connections shared between images, the senses, and the mind.

In the Realm of Perception is an overview of Baumeister’s cyclical and evolving art. Several bodies of her work are organized around themes such as realism, order, and chaos. The exhibit includes a selection of key pieces from earlier in her career: vivid watercolours of minerals, plants, and landscapes rendered in extraordinary detail. Through visual tricks and illusions, these works question the truth of what the viewer is looking at. A large body of newer acrylic paintings shows the artist’s shift inwards to a more meditative approach. Brilliant fields of colour and geometric patterns collide with each other, expand, and recede from the surface of the canvas, suggesting a collision between logic and intuition.

Weaving together memory, history, and time, Baumeister’s paintings and mixed media collages are a thought-provoking foray into the processes through which the brain generates meaning.

Join the artist for an exhibition tour and catalogue launch on Thursday, March 14.

Publication

This exhibition is accompanied by a publication. The In the Realm of Perception exhibition catalogue includes essays by Surrey Art Gallery curator Rhys Edwards and Kwantlen Polytechnic University professor Dorothy Barenscott, which analyze Baumeister's work within a psychological, theoretical, and art historical context. The publication also includes high-resolution photographs, a complete list of works, and a statement from the artist.

Physical copies of this catalogue are also available to order from Surrey Art Gallery. Please email us at artgallery@surrey.ca or phone us at 604-501-5566 to inquire about availability.

About the Artist

Nicoletta Baumeister is a painter interested in exploring the human act of making sense out of sensation. Her quest is to understand the gaps between seeing, perceiving, and understanding a thing. Her artwork, rooted in hyperrealism, has permuted into abstract work in the last fifteen years. Using mainly rectilinear forms and stripes, she explores the structure of reality—for example, the difference between what one sees and what one thinks one sees. She holds a Dip.FA (Honours) from Langara College, a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD), and a Specialization in Goldsmithing (Germany).  She has been painting, exhibiting, and winning awards since 1984, as well as teaching students since the late 1990s.

Image credit: Nicoletta Baumeister, One of a Kind?, 2017, oil on canvas.