Drawings and paintings by the American artist Anthony Baus (b. 1981) are currently featured in “After the Antique,” an exhibition at Robert Simon Fine Art in Manhattan. As the title indicates, the exhibition is intended to introduce the artist’s work to a new audience.

Fine art drawings
Anthony Baus, “Pozzo Corridor (Ruins of St. Ignatius),” 2015, brown ink pen and blue wash, 14 x 12 in.

From the gallery:

The timing of the exhibition, during New York’s Master Drawings week, will permit collectors of both contemporary art and Old Masters to experience Baus’s unique vision, which mines the world of antiquity as source material for contemporary issues, expressed through an astonishing graphic facility derived from intense study of Italian baroque drawing.

Fine art drawings
Anthony Baus, “Portrait of a Boy in Profile, 2018, white and black pencil and charcoal on toned paper, 11 x 9 in.

The phrase “After the Antique” has two associations. The first is conventional cataloguing terminology that describes a work of art derived or copied from an ancient model or source. The second is purely chronological: “after” in time. Anthony Baus’s work meets both criteria, but his references from the ancient world are never literal; rather they are romantic, meditative, and original. His impressive technique does not reflect the mind of a copyist.

Fine art drawings
Anthony Baus, “Gabriel (Youth Approaching a Well),” 2018, sepia wash and pen with white gouache on toned paper, 18 x 25 in.

The style of Old Master drawings that Baus has embraced is his preferred language of expression, but his content is entirely personal. Baus has described it as “romantically inspired narratives created on scaffolding of ancient architecture, richly imbued with symbolism and mystery.”

Fine art drawings
Anthony Baus, “Time (Ruins of the Mithraic Mysteries),” 2018, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.

For the artist the present exhibition began as a meditation on time. Months spent in Rome drew Baus into study of and contemplation on the Mithraic Mysteries, the cult religion practiced there from the first to the fourth centuries A.D. The characters that inform Mithraism provide the starting point for Baus’s rumination on thought and the position of man in the universe, expressed through symbolism both historical and fantastical.

Fine art drawings
Anthony Baus, “The Baptism,” 2018, brown ink pen, blue wash, white charcoal on green-toned paper, 10 x 7 ½ in.

“Anthony Baus: After the Antique” is on view at Robert Simon Fine Art (New York) through February 22, 2019.

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