Coastal Marin Artists Gallery

Johanna Baruch: Exploring the Cosmos

March 17 - May 6, 2012

Curated by Lucy Van Sands Seeburg

I initially stayed in earth’s atmosphere, painting the clouds in all of their moods. As I continued, ground based symbols that had inserted themselves into the paintings – people, flowers, birds – disappeared.  The sky just wanted to be what it was unto itself.  And then suddenly, I dove deeper.  I was with the planets, the stars, our own galaxy and beyond, the strange and wondrous forms in deep space.  I discovered the gift of seeing these amazing objects up close with my small telescope, and through the spectacular photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope.  Its wondrous pictures brought me into realms where science and magic intertwine.  I entered the cosmos, and the cosmos entered me.

I do not paint the universe literally.  I look, I imagine, I study photographs, and inspired by the intensity, beauty, color, movement and ultimate mystery of the universe, I begin. I start with the emptiness, and the act of painting opens up a space within, metaphorically and viscerally, that in some ways mirrors the ineffable magnificence of the cosmos I am painting.  I live within the paradox of space as the boundless container.

-Johanna Baruch

Johanna paints in oil on wood, creating and underpainting of grisaille, then applying multiple layers of transparent glazes to create works of luminescent light and shadows. Born and raised in New York City, Johanna studied painting at the Art Students League, Academy of Art in San Francisco, San Francisco State University and Plein Air painting in France.  Her work is in galleries and museums around the country and in private and corporate collections internationally.