Ed Baynard

June 27–September 7, 2019 East Gallery

Press Release

White Columns is proud to present a solo exhibition of works by Ed Baynard (1940-2016.) The exhibition has been organized by White Columns and Vince Aletti in collaboration with the Estate of Ed Baynard.

Raised in Washington DC, Baynard lived in both Paris and London during the 1960s, where he worked as a graphic designer for The Beatles and designed stage clothes for Jimi Hendrix. Self-taught as an artist, Baynard returned to New York in 1971 and – with encouragement from Agnes Martin – he staged his first solo exhibition that same year at New York’s legendary Willard Gallery. Known primarily for his signature still-life paintings of flowers, plants and other aspects of the natural world, Baynard would have subsequent solo exhibitions at Holly Solomon’s 98 Greene Street Loft, New York (1972); Betty Parsons Gallery, New York (1973); Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (1977); John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco (1980); and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York (1980/81); among many others during a nearly five-decade long career.

On his return to the United States in the early 1970s Baynard would re-connect with New York’s downtown avant-garde (he had previously made an appearance in Jack Smith’s 1963 film ‘Flaming Creatures’.) He was close with 112 Greene Street/White Columns co-founder Gordon Matta-Clark, and in 1982 Baynard organized ‘Fast’, a figurative painting exhibition for Alexander Milliken Gallery, New York, where David Wojnarowicz presented a painting – ‘Untitled (Green Head)’, 1982 – for the first time (which Baynard subsequently acquired for his personal collection.)

The exhibition at White Columns includes work produced over the entire arc of Baynard’s five-decade career, centered around a group of key large-scale works including an important painting from 1975 that shows the artist’s studio wall with trompe l’oeil painted versions of works by many of his artist-heroes. Baynard’s approach – clearly and unapologetically informed by both the fine and decorative arts – invariably aligns a form of almost Zen-like minimalism with often highly emotive and romantic subject matter.

Baynard was a prolific artist, constantly working. His work – produced over nearly half a century – continues to resonate with the work of both his peers and that of subsequent generations of artists. We hope that this exhibition, which is inevitably only a partial account of Baynard’s career, will act as a catalyst for subsequent conversations around his life and work.

Ed Baynard’s work is held in the permanent collections of many public institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery, Washington DC: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and The High Museum, Atlanta; among many others.

We would like to thank Vince Aletti for the introduction to Ed Baynard’s work, and the Estate of Ed Baynard for their enthusiastic support of White Columns’ presentation of Ed Baynard’s work in New York.