Johanna Baruch: As Above, So Below

Bolinas Museum • January 11, 2024

Opening Reception:
Saturday, February 3

3 - 4 PM Artist Talks / 4 - 5 PM Reception


Exhibition Dates:
* February 3 – March 31

Curated by Louisa Gloger

As Above, So Below is a phrase used by ancient and medieval alchemists. It is a belief that what happens in the celestial realms echoes in the earthly realms. In the practice of alchemy, natural transformations mimic spiritual transformations.

This phrase now has significance that the alchemists could never have imagined. With the advancement of science, we now know that what was created by the Big Bang became, over billions of years, galaxies, stars, and planets – including Earth and us. As Carl Sagan famously said: “We are made of star stuff.”

Johanna Baruch paints the cosmos. She begins by looking at the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope images and waits for one to hit her viscerally.

Her paintings are not literal representations but interpretations, the way the image and the science behind the image feel as they take shape within her, always moving, layering, and growing into patterns, as does the paint on her panels, moving and layering to become a finished painting.

As Baruch says, “The Hubble and James Webb have brought us the miracle and astonishing beauty of the cosmos. I allow them to open and lead me through my inner landscape, connecting me and, I hope, the viewer to the above as it is below, to the within as it is without, and to the beauty and mystery of our planet and us, as part of this magnificent cosmos.”

Admission is always free.

Museum Hours:
Friday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Contact: (415) 868-0330
Email: info@bolinasmuseum.org
Official Website


IMAGE: JOHANNA BARUCH, Aeons (detail), 2023, Oil on aluminum, 72 x 48 inches, courtesy of the artist.