Born in Rheinsberg, Germany.
Lives and works in Berlin und New York.
The work of the internationally renowned artist has focused since the late 1960s on themes such as the oppositions of culture / nature and self / other. Like previous shows of Baumgarten’s work, his exhibition titled "River Crossing" at Galerie Thomas Zander (13 November 2010 - 19 February 2011) is to be regarded in its totality as a work in situ. The canon behind its presentation and the dimension of its thematic circuit counterbalance one another. Measure and proportion, materiality and ratio, light, colour and time are the elements determining our perception of the exhibit. Freed from cultural contexts, its universal appearance, identity, and presence are formulated by means of its intellectual and personal poetics. It argues from the materiality of found circumstances, and through its intuitive manipulated new settings. The personal grammar of its gesture and point of view on the world mobilizes all-encompassing reflections, while the intensity of what is formulated affords us access to the identity of what we are looking at. A discourse of engagement opens up, a readiness to get involved, that at the same time completes the work. Self-reflection, along with invention, is what guides here the documentary eye of the photographic language in the photographic image. An emphasis on grasping what a site is all about, on the “sense of place,” is characteristic for Baumgarten’s work.
Lothar Baumgarten’s work has been presented all over the world in solo exhibitions at major museums and shown at venues including the Alhóndiga Bilbao (2010); Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, MACBA (2008); Museum Kurhaus, Kleve (2006); Museu Serralves, Porto (2005); Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (2004); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); De Pont, Tilburg (2002); Hamburger Kunsthalle (2001); Kunsthaus Zürich (1998); Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris (1995); Renaissance Society, Chicago (1993); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1993); Portikus, Frankfurt/Main (1993); Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia (1992); Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld (1992); Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (1991); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1990); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a. M. (1990); Kunsthalle Bern (1987); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1987); ARC/ Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1986); Museo de Bellas Artes Caracas (1986); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (1985); 41st Biennale di Venezia, German Pavilion (with A.R. Penck), Venice (1984); Castello di Rivoli (1984); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1982); documenta, Kassel (1972, 1982, 1992, 1997); Carnegie International (1988, 1991). The recently reopened Folkwang Museum in Essen is currently displaying “Fragmento Brasil/ Vom Ursprung der Tischsitten” (1971-2005) as part of its permanent collection.