Date of Birth: 1949
Awards: Dip A.D. (Birmingham College of Art) – M.A. (Royal College of Art)
Fellowships at Royal Society of Arts, Royal college of Art and Northern Arts
Commissions: I regularly undertake commissions in UK and USA and have also done so for clients in Europe, Hong- Kong, Japan and Australia.
Education: Bootham School York,
Canterbury and Birmingham
Royal College of Art
Group Exhibitions: Australia: Melbourne & Adelaid.
Austria: Saltzburg & Vienna.
Holland: Amsterdam & Rotterdam.
Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto.
USA: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, East Hampton, Miami, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Providence, Richmond, Rochester, Washington
Travel: Nationally, Yes Internationally, Yes
Press Quotes: “There are several aspect to the subject matter of Fred Baier’s work which can be discussed such as the frequency with which the imagery he uses suggests that this is not just furniture but objects in a story. Fred Baier’s work is sometimes described as science fiction or as modern ‘techno-folk’ art and one can see why. He says that his work was once described as demonstrating the principle ‘form swallows function’. However, I believe he is currently of considerable interest because his furniture is among the first to show us what ‘computer style looks like’…..The computer is a tool, but the presence of this tool is not often revealed in the final work…….. What Baier does is what Henry Moore did on the seashore. Moore walked on the seashore and found objects he could later twist into sculpture. Baier uses the computer to turn up three-dimensional forms from the seashore of mathematics. Baier can pick them up or throw them back but those he selects are used as the basis for furniture designs. When you examine Baier’s furniture design it show the mark of the computer as a tool just as strongly as the stone carving or the wooden bench shows the mark of the mason’s chisel or the carpenter’s adze.”
Peter Dormer Crafts Council exhibition Furniture Today Is Design & Craft. in 1995
A Leading Edge, Design in Furniture by Fred Baier 1977/82
Catalogue published Prescote/Warwick Arts Trust, 1983.
Fred Baier, Furniture in Studio
published Bellew/CC. 1990 ISBN 0 947792 46 5
Vision & Reality, Contemporary Practice for Furniture Makers
ISBN 0 9059747 5 1 published Tyne & Wear Museums/Northern Arts 2001
Since 1975 I have been creating state of the art furniture in my own studio. In the early years, and with a post Pop Art manifesto, I produced work based on industrial imagery. Gradually the forms became more abstract observations concerning structure, process, composition and colour with an underlying interest in geometry channelled into the making process.
I met my first computer boffin in the days when a computer filled half a room, and have now passed a point where computing has been used at every stage of design, development and manufacture of a piece. Through this I feel I am taking an active part in our transition from the machine to the electronic age.
My pieces are intended as pioneering furniture statements rather than products; observations and thoughts about my time and chosen field. I seek expertise in all aspects of my creativity.
My lifestyle is that of an explorer more than a designer. My adventures in search of knowledge, understanding and ability within my field help to expand my envelope of possibility. A keen interest in maths has led me to experiment with computing since the early eighties, looking for ways of harnessing it as a useful tool in a studio furniture making context. Even so I still find a pencil to be the quickest route from the brain to an image.
In our object making world, hand skills are, sadly, expensive to acquire, seen as bourgeois, and avoided wherever possible. That notion does not apply to me. I stick to no rules but try to be a man of my time making objects of now. All means of expression, in whatever medium, are appropriate to my intention because they will have been carefully considered.
The hands on way.
I have maintained integrity throughout my career. Meeting clients, developing briefs and making the pieces. I have balanced the books, paid the wages, given the lectures, taken the photos, sold the work, driven the delivery vans. I include a host of people in my vocation and have made many friends and few enemies in the wide field of the visual arts.
Applications for apprentices are welcome.
Studio visits are welcome.
If commissioned I would spend a preliminary period drawing, photographing, researching and developing a brief in consultation with the client or people who make up the project management team. Once the threads of the idea are woven into a structure then prototyping and development will take place probably in my studio with visits to the site/client . Once the final solution is approved, manufacture of the resulting design will take place wherever the necessary expertise is found, some from my studio and some sub-contracted.
If necessary, during the time of and subsequent to the commission, I will be pleased to give private or public lectures, talks, demonstrations and / or workshops to appropriate people about design and my work and include explanations and updates of the project in hand.
Each job has its own set of rules, I am happy to work in whatever material is appropriate to the commission, and in some of these will necessiate subcontracting.
VAT Registered: Yes