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Nicoletta Baumeister: In the Realm of Perception

Take a look at the limits 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. Drawing from studies in psychology, philosophy, physics, and more, Baumeister’s research informs her paintings that bridge the gap between their subject and the viewer. They question 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 practice. 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 a talk preceding the opening reception on Saturday, January 19 and an exhibition tour and catalogue launch on Thursday, March 14.

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, Original?, 2017, acrylic on canvas.