Firelei Báez

Monday, May 01, 6:00 p.m.7:30 p.m.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Ave. 

Join us in person for a lecture by artist Firelei Báez followed by an audience Q&A.

This event will be live captioned by Communication Access Realtime Translation services.

New York-based artist Firelei Báez casts diasporic histories into an imaginative realm, reworking visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother and a father of Haitian descent, Báez traces her concerns with the politics of place and heritage back to her upbringing on the border between the island of Hispaniola’s two neighboring countries whose long-standing tensions are predicated in large part on ethnic difference. 
 
In exuberantly colorful works on paper and canvas, large-scale sculptures, and immersive installations, Báez combines representational cues that span hair textures, textile patterns, plant life, folkloric and literary references, and wide-ranging emblems of healing and resistance. Often featuring strong female protagonists, her paintings incorporate the visual languages of regionally specific mythology and ritual alongside those of science fiction and fantasy to envision identities as unfixed and inherited narratives as perpetually evolving.

Báez’s work has been presented in many significant international exhibitions, including the inaugural installation of the ICA Watershed, Boston (2021) and The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022). In 2023 and 2024, Báez will be the subject of two major museum exhibitions. The first will be held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in October 2023 and the second exhibition will begin at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston in 2024 and travel to two additional American museums. Recent solo presentations of Báez’s work include exhibitions at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and Pérez Art Museum Miami. The artist has recently participated in a number of group exhibitions at major institutions, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Cleveland Museum of Art; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Baltimore Museum of Art; and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai.

View the Firelei Báez SAIC Flaxman Library Resource Guide for additional information about the artist.