Denise Baumann studied painting in her hometown of Lyon, France. During these formative years, she also began to travel throughout Europe and to the US, as an exchange student based in Kansas City, Missouri. Denise returned to France to pursue a degree in law. Upon graduation she travelled to Martinique by banana boat to fulfill a post as a law professor. While traveling, Denise painted mostly abstract color fields. In the mid 1960s Denise married and moved to Saarbucken, Germany where she introduced the figure into her abstract work. Abandoning color for vague black outlines and subtle grey shades, she painted portraits of athletes like Muhammed Ali and the skier Ingemar Stenmark.
In the late 1970s Denise and her family moved to New York. Drawing on her early experience of American culture, she began painting scenes of American football and baseball, as well as jazzmen such as Miles Davis. Denise used picture cutouts from the New York Times as models, and eventually began painting the cover of the newspaper itself. Commissions began to come in, such as one by Dior designer, Michel Fortin. The project was for her to paint two canvases mural size in a living room of a moment in the infamous matchup between tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe with each player on one side of the living room, the ball suspended in the middle of the living room. Denise's work was also shown regularly at the Deutsche Haus, the German language school at NYU and Chase Manhattan Bank.
During the 1990s, Denise began traveling to Cape Cod, where she moved from abstract work to painting landscapes. At this time, she re-introduced color into her work and began painting self-portraits as well as still lives of flower bouquets, reminiscent of the time she worked in a flower shop as a young girl. To this day she paints the landscapes of North Truro, as well as still life’s that depict floral fireworks of subtle colors harmoniously woven together.
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