Paula Baader is a critical observer wherever she happens to be. While we often regard maps as objective representations of reality, the artist transfers her own, subjective view of her immediate surroundings onto the canvas. Holborn, Victoria Park, the Thames: Baader has lived in London and Hamburg since 2013 and translates concrete, location-specific associations, memories, and recordings into delicate, abstract pictures which appear as structured as they are complex. It is not clear what she is depicting. Nonetheless, her titles indicate a relationship with the places and their social, historical, and political sub-texts, which the artist explores in intensive forays. She traces these searches in mind maps, structuring snapshots, objects, and notices without subjecting them to a specific order. They are both documentation and working medium.
The artist regards this process as a necessary change of perspective in order to establish a certain distance between the work, the cartography of the location, and memories. Among the methods she employs in her artistic practice is also the continued use of the objects that she has selected: mostly symbolic little details, which she subtly inserts into her pictures in order to make them aesthetically tangible. Pictorially speaking, her works resemble specific places with regard to their topographical details: the gestural brushstroke becomes intensified into streaks of color evoking organic substances and providing at the same time associations with the structures of public spaces and private rooms – often seen from a bird’s-eye view – with the aim of revealing the complex reality by means of equally complex graphic structures. In her works, Paula Baader does not explore external, rigid appearances; rather, her focus lies on the individual characteristics of the spaces concerned, the underlying rhythms – something which can really only be experienced through the temporal process of walking through them physically.