Lothar Baumgarten: America Señores Naturales (2020)
Text by Joanna Vickery-Barkow
Published by Marian Goodman Gallery, 2020
Hardcover, 64 pages, 37 B&W illustrations, 16 color illustrations.
11 1/4 x 8 3/4 x 1/2 in.
America Señores Naturales retraces the history of one of Lothar Baumgarten’s most famous site-specific interventions from 1984, Señores Naturales, and uses it as a point of departure to explore some of the key concepts that have shaped his oeuvre.
In a newly commissioned essay, “Ground, Map, Floor: The Site and the Subject of Lothar Baumgarten’s Señores Naturales”, author Joanna Vickery-Barkow retraces the importance of the act of naming in Baumgarten’s work, as well as its historical implications, and demonstrates how his art was responsive to both “the spatial properties and history of the sites where he exhibited”.
Featuring a large selection of images from the artist’s archive, published here for the first time, this volume offers an insight into Baumgarten’s process, revealing the richness and complexity of his conceptual body of work.
Edited with the support of Baumgarten’s estate, America Señores Naturales also attests to the influence of his work on future generations of artists, inviting us to contemplate the impact and the relevance of his ideas nearly forty years later.
In the words of Vickery-Barkow, “By staging this encounter in the Venice Biennial’s Giardini—an imperial enclave of old, and the German pavilion— a former Nazi building, the artist sought to draw links between European and German imperialism, colonialism, and fascism, both present and past. Implicating his viewer’s body within this complex spatial and temporal matrix, Baumgarten sought to show how deeply imperial and colonial ideas lie in the ideological ground of the West and the extent to which they permeate the Western subject’s experience of space and place.”