Teresa Baker: From Joy To Joy To Joy | Dominic Musa: Talebearer

3311 East Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 26, 6 PM - 9 PM — ends Oct 14, 2023
de boer (Los Angeles) is pleased to present From Joy to Joy to Joy, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Teresa Baker, her second with the gallery. Baker uses artificial turf as a ground for works that reference abstract expressionist, cubist, and postminimalist movements, as well as territories and art of Indigenous peoples.

From Joy to Joy to Joy is a quote from Li-Young Lee’s poem “From Blossoms” that succinctly mirrors Baker’s attention to the evanescent quality of beautiful moments in life. The poem’s preceding line reads: “There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background.” For many of the works in the show, it is as if Baker has transposed this sensation directly into the materials. Her combinations of colorful paints and yarns with artificial turf call to mind the shifts of bright sun on hills as green gives way to brown, or the pinks and reds of a sunset. They evoke the lands where Baker lives and has lived, and the specific seasons in which the work was created.

Nature has always been a catalyst for Baker, who grew up in the Northern Plains on sacred and historical grounds where her father was the first American Indian Superintendent of Little Bighorn Battlefield, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and Mt. Rushmore. Surrounded by sprawling landscapes, she attended educational exhibitions, and listened to storytelling from elders. This background directly influences the way she combines shapes, colors, and textures to create a language informed by both traditional and contemporary cultures but ultimately all her own.

Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa) B. 1985 Watford City, ND

Through a mixed media practice combining artificial and natural materials together, Baker creates abstracted landscapes that explore vast space, and how we move, see and explore within them. The materials, texture, shapes, and color relationships are guided by Baker’s Mandan/Hidatsa culture. In her practice, Baker imbues innate objects with culture and identity.

Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa) B. 1985 Watford City, ND) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Baker has had recent solo exhibitions at de boer, Los Angeles, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ; Pied-à-terre, San Francisco; Interface Gallery, Oakland; and Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX, Group exhibitions include Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; di Rosa, Napa, CA; Marin MoCA, Novato,CA, and Anthony Meier, Mill Valley, CA. Baker is a 2022 Joan Mitchell Fellow, a 2022 Artist-in-Residence at FOGO Islands Arts in Newfoundland, and the recipient of the 2020 Native American Fellowship for Visual Artists at the Ucross Foundation. Baker was an Artist-in-Residence at MacDowell, and a Tournesol award Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. The artist's work was recently acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2023 Baker’s work will be included in ‘Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living’ at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA the sixth iteration of the biennial exhibition.


de boer (Los Angeles) is pleased to present Talebearer, a solo exhibition by Paterson, New Jersey based painter Dominic Musa, his first solo exhibition with the gallery. Musa’s paintings are layered in color, exacting yet loose, producing a contemplative revelation of contrasting liminal spaces. Windows and reflections question the meaning of inside versus outside that echo and contemplate a more sinister underbelly. Moments of idyllic calm offer a reprieve with scenes of skaters dancing on frozen ponds that reflect the barren trees above. A persisting duality remains everclear in each of Musa’s color drenched canvases as they navigate the past and present in tandem with the collective psyche.

A talebearer and a storyteller have equal amounts of liberty and reliability. Musa takes advantage of this position and stretches to effortlessly tow a line between surrealism and fauvism. Dreams meet real world observation and source material producing a combination of invention and memory. Musa reflects back on losing a close relative to dementia where memory dissolves and names become interchangeable. In these labor intensive paintings layers are built up through making new paintings on top of paintings; then scraping, sanding, and starting over. In this process the ground becomes an eraser that isn’t subtractive but rather additive, creating depth and context. Similar to the hypothesis that each time one accesses or recalls a memory they add non objective details due to the loss of concrete details as memories fade.

Dominic Musa (b. 1989) lives and works in Paterson, New Jersey. He received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the SVA - School of Visual Arts, In New York. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Y2K Group, New York, NY; Taymour Grahne Projects, London, UK; Helena Anrather, New York, NY; Harkawik, New York, NY; Underdonk; Brooklyn, NY; Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal, Canada; and Andrea Festa Fine Arts, Rome, Italy. In 2022 Musa was an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME and a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.

Dominic Musa’s paintings fuse his personal experiences via invention, peripheral observation, and recollection with the collective psyche. The paintings pull from personal and found photographs utilizing creation, erasure, time, and ultimately visual meditation. This taps into the subconscious psychological thread grouping the perceived personal, collective ideas and images by forming an internal discourse from the artist onto each viewer. This invites the viewer into Musa’s visual worlds and to participate in a common dialogue through a continual communion or network.