John Baeder Takes Wing on a Higher Road
Widely considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, John Baeder is best-known for his hyperrealist paintings that made the diner the subject of serious art books and historic preservation efforts. While Baeder was almost single-handedly responsible for the diner craze of the late 1970s through the 1990s, he has been and is much more than a “diner painter,” as his new exhibition at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art reveals.
This exhibition taps into Baeder’s love of historical military aircraft with nearly 40 large- scale paintings that, although created with Baeder’s trademark realistic style, are not simply paintings of photographs. Baeder has succeeded in painting from photographs while simultaneously stimulating his and his viewers’ imaginations. Because he sees his reference photographs as “notes,” in the same way that a writer might refer to real-world experience, he never feels compelled to slavishly imitate their visual characteristics.
Now in his mid-seventies, John Baeder continues his artistic journey with undiminished excitement. After more than four decades as a painter, he still retains a childlike sense of wonderment. Baeder is a man whose ardent interests were formed early and have remained constant. “I am going back to images that lit up my imagination in my youth,” Baeder explains. “When I was a kid, I loved old military aircraft. I still do.”
January 5: Curator’s Tour
12:15-1pm. Free with Gallery admission.
President & CEO and Chief Curator Charles Shepard will take you on a tour of this exhibition. From his specialized and personal point of view, Shepard offers a unique perspective as the visionary for all exhibitions at FWMoA.