Carrie Ann Baade - The Critique

Carrie Ann Baade is a talented and highly imaginative artist whose work is irrevocably linked to the contemporary surreal movement. Ingenious and eccentric compositions resemble fantastical parables, complex in their iconography and imagery, that challenge the boundaries of philosophy and reality. Her powerful detailed artworks combine elements of the Renaissance and Baroque paintings, resulting in mystical landscapes and curious stories inhabited by imaginative characters. This well-established and extremely gifted American artist explores the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary in an avant-garde and stimulating visual aesthetic that merges art with philosophy and literature.
 
Baade’s oils often contrast dense, extravagant contemporary and classical symbology with luminescent colour, communicating themes of mortality, sexuality, personal transformation, and the darker side of human nature. Her work revolutionises ideas of humanity, rejecting a rational vision of life in favour of one that asserts the value of the subconscious as she sees magic and strange beauty in the unexpected, the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional.
 
Baade’s artworks extend far beyond the comparatively limited inventive capacity of the vast majority of artists and donates a novel, intensely personal and unique interpretation of Surrealism. In 1924, the world-renowned artist André Breton, defined surrealism as, ‘pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation’.
 
Baade unlocks infinite thoughts and stories from her subconscious mind, immortalising each detail of her dream worlds or hidden psychological tensions in stimulating and provocative combinations of intense talent and compelling artistic influence: Dali’s precise technique is intertwined with Lord Leighton’s Pre-Raphaelite vision as well as juxtaposed with elements of Flemish painting.
 
The profound nature of the compositions transcends Art History and offers a fascinating window into a parallel and intangible universe in which Baade explodes with erudite compositions and vivid visual poetry. Imaginary albeit intelligible images provide a counterpoint but erupt with symbolic references that offer deep and moving interpretations. Baade’s mystical and alluring conceptions convey a sense of balanced harmony that is able to excite and profoundly enthrall the viewer.
 
Timothy Warrington
International Confederation of Art Critics