Claire Anna Baker’s first L.A. solo show, at Edward Cella Art + Architecture, is a strikingly sophisticated exploration of gesture in the context of painterly abstraction.
Each of the five large, ink-on-polyester paintings installed in the gallery’s main space revolves around a stroke of liquid black, set against a ground of pale, softly modulated blues, oranges and pinks.
Though far too large to have been made with a single movement, each stroke is a vision of lightness and spontaneity. It fills the canvas with motion more than form or weight, with a flicker like that of a darting butterfly or a thin, fluttering scrap of silk.
In fact, the gestures are highly deliberate and choreographed, developed through the distillation of physical movements in the studio into a kind of script. (A handful of smaller works also on view gives a sense of how Baker works these forms up from preparatory sketches.)