Stephen Friedman Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Europe by American artist Ed Baynard (1940-2016). This follows a highly acclaimed solo exhibition at White Columns in New York earlier this year curated by Matthew Higgs.
The exhibition focuses on works made during the 1970s, bringing together floral still lifes and trompe l’oeil tableaux. Both in style and subject matter, Baynard evokes the work of Henri Matisse, David Hockney and even Jonas Wood. Largely unknown, Baynard was a graphic designer for the Beatles, a clothing designer for Jimi Hendrix and appeared in Jack Smith’s incendiary underground film ‘Flaming Creatures’ (1963). In antithesis to his life, Baynard’s practice was much more restrained. The self-taught artist rose to prominence in the 1970s, holding exhibitions at galleries including Betty Parsons Gallery, New York (1973); Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (1977); John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco (1980); and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York (1980/81). Rendered in a flat, graphic style that recalls Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, the artist’s paintings from this period are meditative and lyrical in their exploration of the still-life genre. Steeped in tradition yet entirely contemporary, Baynard’s harmonious compositions in the exhibition comprise slender-necked orchids, multi-coloured vessels and miscellaneous ephemera from the artist’s studio.
Ed Baynard, ‘Bowl Painting I’, 1976. Acrylic on canvas, 130.8 x 263.5cm (51 1/2 x 103 3/4in). Copyright Estate of Ed Baynard. Courtesy Estate of Ed Baynard; White Columns, New York; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London