Richard Baker carefully renders familiar objects from his immediate environment. In his current body of work, Baker depicts vintage paperback book covers from his personal collection down to every minute detail. From yellowed pages to cracks in the binding, these features convey not only the artist’s loving relationship with the book, and also awaken the viewer’s personal associations with the author or story.
Baker was born 1959 in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Recent solo shows include, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY; Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; and Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, MA. He has participated in group exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art; National Academy of Science, New York, NY; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; and Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA. Baker was awarded a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2002, and his works are in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Newark Museum, Newark; Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown. He lives and works in New York.
"Books have always been important to me - from the first set of World Book Encyclopedia in my childhood home, … to my assigned readings in college, and beyond. They come to stand for various episodes of our lives, for certain idealistic episodes, follies of belief, moments of love. Along the way they accumulate our marks, our stains, our innocent abuses - they come to wear our experience of them on their covers and bindings like wrinkles on our own skin. As our personalities are changed by them (or not), so too do they absorb impressions of our lives." - Richard Baker