Things Falling into Place, Galerie Forsblom, 2023
For Stig Baumgartner, painting is a process of becoming visible. The form and subject find their shape through the process, which invariably entails identification with something as yet strange and unknown. Upon completion, what initially presents itself as an indeterminate geometric composition finally falls into place and in doing so, the identity of the work also finds its consummate shape. The finished work is like a joyful exclamation: This is exactly how I was supposed to look!
Maria, 2023, oil on canvas, 115x90 cm, private collection
In Baumgartner's oeuvre, predictable geometry is contrasted with expressive gestures and details emphasizing temporality and the momentary nature of the process. His compositions shine, splatter, shake, or sweat in their own joy of emerging. Each painting constitutes its own significant event while at the same time possessing its own unique personality. Baumgartner's stylized brushstrokes assert themselves as self-contained visual motifs equal in status to his geometric shapes.
Installation view, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, 2023
For Baumgartner, painting is a dialogue between conscious and controlled versus unconscious and playful expression. He deliberately invites imperfections and deviations that push his abstract expression in a more human direction. Visually, his paintings take their cue from the laws of geometry, while his process is shaped by intuitive choices that endow his conceptual structures with recognizable forms. His figurative abstractions obey the laws of gravity, creating space for a shared bodily experience. In their materiality and spatiality, his geometric subjects also reveal something about how we make observations and how we always look for meaning in what we see.
Conclude, 2023, oil on canvas, 240 x 200 cm