Jo Baer is an American/Dutch born in 1929. She is best known for her contributions to the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 70s. Her work from this time is characterized by its precise geometry and subtle use of color and lines, stripping art down to its most essential elements and challenging traditional ideas of painting and sculpture. The Guggenheim, which owns two of her paintings, called them “radically spare canvases”.
In the 1980s, Baer stepped away from Minimalism, embracing a more figurative style that drew on classical motifs and historical references. Her works also incorporate text and language, reflecting her interest in symbols and linguistics. I personally like her figurative work more than her earlier abstract work because you can see that there is a unique visual language that she has developed over time, particularly when she draws from her studies in biology and Paleolithic art.
Baer has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions including at the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller and the Stedelijk Museum, both in the Netherlands, where she is now based. Despite this recognition, as with many female artists over time, I don’t think Baer is fully appreciated (because of the nature of this website, I am primarily talking from an investment perspective). Yet, she is represented by Pace Gallery, one of the most prestigious galleries in the world, although, I think she is one of the most undervalued artists in their lauded stable.
Pace Gallery represents art-world heavyweights including David Hockney, Loie Hollowell, Jeff, Koons, and Pablo Picasso. Baer was only added to the Pace Stable in 2019, so a revision of history has only recently occurred at the gallery level, and is still to cause a dramatic affect at the investment level.
Because she enjoys support from world-class gallery representation while being undervalued, it leads me to believe there is investment potential in Baer’s artwork. Additionally, Baer’s output is pretty low for an Established/ Blue Chip artist, with slim pickings for collectors to fight over, which should help to keep her prices buoyant.
But, right now, Baer is still incredibly inexpensive considering her longevity in the art game as well as her gallery representation, which has locations in London, New York, Hong Kong, and other important art hubs.
Baer’s artwork can still be picked up for under $1,000 (and sometimes as low as a couple hundred dollars). These artworks are going to be prints or simple drawings, of course, but the edition sizes for the prints are typically very low, even for the prints under $1,000.
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