Kiria Koula: Gallery & Bookstore

Teresa Baker is interested in objects that move slowly and that give the impression of change and growth as you spend time with them. To her, a work is finished once she is not longer able to identify it. She gives shape to things she cannot place and challenges the human instinct to categorize our relationship to form, material, and color.

Baker is particularly drawn to the potential of objects having a “life” and a “presence.” Having been raised Catholic and as a member of the Mandan-Hidatsa Native American tribe, she was exposed to objects that were considered “Sacred” and experienced the particular way people behaved in their presence. However, her works are not concerned with the symbolism of objects, and they don’t try to symbolize anything. Instead, she is interested in the material presence of objects as such and in their evolving relationship with the viewer.

For Kiria Koula, Baker presents a series of wall-mounted sculptural paintings composed of four main materials: felt, canvas, vinyl, and paint. Choosing these materials based on their color, texture, and sturdiness, she slightly alters the materials by folding them, cutting them, or making moderate paint marks on them, allowing herself (and other viewers) to look at and relate to the materials as they are.

“I don‘t work in a linear manner. Instead, I work by seeing connections between materials and responding to what each individual piece needs so that it can get to the point of non-identity. There is something in the process of unknowing that is of interest, and I believe helps to bring life to the painting. If I sketched it out and executed the plan, it would feel dry, a de-void of energy and life.”

Teresa Baker (b. 1985, Watford City, ND) lives and works in San Francisco.
For the past three years and a half, she has widely exhibited in the Bay Area at venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, di Rosa, the Wattis Institute, The Luggage Store Gallery, Interface Gallery, SOMAarts, among others. She has been a Tournesol Award Artist-in-Residence (2013–2014), an Affiliate Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (2014–2015), an Artist-in-Residence at The MacDowell Colony (early 2015).

Baker received an MFA from California College of Arts, San Francisco, CA, and a 
BA in Visual Arts from Fordham University, New York, NY. In 2006, she participated in the Painting and Drawing Intensive at Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie, Amsterdam, Netherlands.