- John-Paul Stonard
(b Rheinsberg, 1944).
German sculptor and installation artist. He attended the Staatlichen Akademie für bildende Künste, Karlsruhe (1968) and the Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1969–71), where he studied for a year under Joseph Beuys. Baumgarten is known for his sculptures with ecological themes, drawn primarily from his travels among Native North and South Americans. His anthropological investigations have also found expression in films, books, photographs and writings. In 1978 Baumgarten embarked on an extended stay with the Yanomami Indians in the Upper Orinoco region; his documentation of this time attempted to provide an unbiased view of Indian culture. His reflections on the historical problems associated with colonialism arguably found better expression in site-specific works using words, such as the wall painting Monument for the South American Indian Nations (1982), installed at Documenta 7, Kassel. In this he mounted the names of Native South Americans around the circular base of a skylight in the Museum Fredericianum in Kassel. This and other works drew attention to the inscription of colonial power through re-naming. This approach was given a different colonial context in ...