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MARK BAUM: ELEMENTS OF THE SPIRIT
January 30-March 12, 2016; opening reception Saturday, January 30th, 6-9pm
Please join us Saturday, February 27th, at 2:30 pm for a special panel conversation
"Mark Baum: Life, Painting, Spirit" with RENNY PRITIKIN, Chief Curator, Contemporary Jewish Museum,
San Francisco; ELIZABETH PENA, Director, Center for Arts, Religion, and Education, Graduate
Theological Union, Berkeley; BILLY BAUM, Mark's son and executor


Mark Baum

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Krowswork is pleased to present Mark Baum: Elements of the Spirit, the first West Coast exhibition of the visionary painting of Mark Baum. Baum was born in 1903 in what is now Poland. After a harrowing emigration to the United States in 1919, he became a well-known artist in New York in the late 1920s through the early 1950s, showing in the top galleries and also collected by a number of museums. But following World War II, and with the rise of Abstract Expressionism, he became disillusioned with the representational art that had become his trademark, and he moved toward a unique abstract "element" that he would use exclusively in his paintings until his death in 1997.

This change in style also corresponded with an opening of spiritual life for Mark. He moved out of NYC to Maine, where he lived in a small farmhouse and used a converted barn for his studio. Here he was able to paint full time.

Mark's work represents a journey toward a universal symbolism, which simultaneously invokes the mystery and palpability of spiritual awakening. He also draws on the algorithmic, presciently seeing into our digital future.

As he said throughout his life: "Life is an adventure." This work describes the arc of a very adventurous artist, whose later, revelatory paintings have never been seen before.

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