Mowry Baden

Mowry Baden

Fellow: Awarded 2014
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

University of Victoria

Articulating an internal awareness of movement and posture has always been the most important element in Baden’s work. He has built harnesses, furniture, rooms, pathways and catwalks, all with the goal of impinging upon the viewer’s movements and awakening a physical self-awareness that was previously unconscious. Baden tries to provoke a perceptual crisis that assaults the viewer’s confidence in the information that comes through the senses. His practice has always involved materials, just like any artist who makes objects. Ideally, however, he is less interested in the object than in the experience. He wants the viewer to enter the object (or the space) and have an experience that is visceral, internal, and sensorially cross-circuited.

Baden’s exhibition history spans over half a century and includes Un-natural Traces, Barbican Gallery, London, Out of Actions at MOCA, Los Angeles, Moved at Hunter College, New York, Caught in the Act at the National Gallery of Canada, It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles, 1969-1973, part of Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980, Getty Museum 2011.

Born in Los Angeles in 1936 and educated at Pomona College and Stanford University, Mowry Baden has lived and worked in Canada since 1971. He has taught sculpture at Raymond College, Pomona College, UBC, and the University of Victoria, from which he retired in 1997.  He has influenced a generation of sculptors in Canada and the U.S. with his engaging, participatory installations and has challenged contemporary sculpture through a staggering number of projects and artworks that borrow from psychology and architecture.

He is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts  Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts and has held solo and group exhibitions across North America including Los Angeles, London, England, Mexico City, Montreal, Vancouver and New York (including the Museum of Modern Art). His work is included in prestigious collections in Canada and the USA, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Musee d’Art Conteporain (Montreal), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He has been commissioned to create public art works in Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Irvine CA, Pittsburgh PA, Victoria, Vancouver, Washington DC and Lewiston, NY. Baden received a Governor General’s Award ) in Visual and Media Arts (Canada) in 2006.


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