LANDSCAPES OF THE OTHERS
It must be slightly uncomfortable for an artist to identify with a last name as illustrious as Baumgartner, the philosopher who created the modern use of the word aesthetics. In addition, the artist’s first name is Beatriz, she of the divine comedy, immortal love of Dante. But for Beatriz Baumgartner, her merit is not found on the basis of her name. Her success is based on the high quality of her work, which has rendered her one of the best watercolor artists in Venezuela.
Let’s not forget, painting with watercolors is much more difficult than painting with oils, acrylics, or pastels. Watercolor requires that the artist make a deliberate first intention with the work, all at once, and without the possibility of corrections or repetitions. For this reason, there are less watercolor artists than any other type of painter.
Landscape is the theme within Beatriz Baumgartner’s work. Mountains, forests, and distant coastlines are painted with a rare realism that isn’t photorealist or descriptive, but rather imaginative, suggestive, fictitious, but plausible. What dominates the work is not what is represented, but how it’s represented.
It’s worth noting that what makes the work is not the nature it depicts, but the language of the paint itself. The artist’s unorthodox style and manner in which she works the watercolor creates a meeting point between dreamt-up landscapes and the fruition of the paint. Similar to the traditional still-life, Baumgartner’s landscapes do not refer to a recognizable place or time. The absence of humans and structures place them in timeless ubiquity.
In these mountains, forests, and far-away coastal scenes, one gets a glimpse of paradise lost. It is found in the memory of an idyllic landscape and from the depths of the artist herself. Perhaps we hear the romantic echo of the remote Terrae Incognita. What transpires there is the otherworldliness of Beatriz Baumgartner.