Indepth Arts News: |
"Hannelore Baron: Works from 1967 to 1987"
2002-02-12 until 2002-03-14
University of Richmond Museums, Marsh Gallery
USA United States of America
Collages and box assemblages created by Hannelore Baron (American, 1926-1987) are the focus of this
exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Using materials
that felt familiar from use-scraps of fabric, wood, string, wire, pieces from children's games, printed labels
and other discarded items-Baron constructed intimately scaled works that offer glimpses into history, the
human condition, and the artist's past.
It is her work's fragility, both physical and spiritual-the sense of
quiet, private anguish expressed through forlorn materials and
cryptic, edgy scrawls-that has often been cited as the defining
characteristic of Baron's art.
- Michael Kimmelman, exhibition review,
The New York Times, October 1, 1993
The Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond Museums, will be the premie venue on this eight-city
national tour which extends through March 2004. Approximately 40 collages and five box assemblages
are presented along with quotes from Baron regarding her artistic inspirations and creative processes.
In her struggles with depression, with cancer, and with memories of the Holocaust, Baron found more
than solace in her art. She found a fountain of creativity with which she could explore feelings and ideas
that words could not express. She gathered artistic inspiration not only from her own past and existential
beliefs but also from contemporary events such as the Vietnam War and from other artistic sources such
as Native American, African, and Tantric art, illuminated pages of the Koran, and Persian miniatures.
The materials I use in the box constructions and cloth collages are gathered with great care, said Baron.
The reason I use old cloth and boxes is that the new material lacks the sentiment of the old, and seems
too dry in an emotional sense.
Born in 1926 in Dillingen, Germany, Baron has become known for the highly personal, intimately sized
abstract collages and box constructions that she began exhibiting in the late 1960s. Her works from this
time through 1987 (the year of her death) garnered her a reputation as a master of the collage medium.
During her life, the ideas expressed in her work grew more complex, introspective and personal; while at
the same time they communicated a universal message about nationalism, war, and cruelty.
Baron's style has been favorably compared with several other Modern masters. In her review for ARTnews
of an exhibition of Baron's work at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1989, critic Barbara A.
MacAdam wrote, Klee's earth tones and signs, Matisse's blue, the intimate collaging of Kurt Schwitters,
and Joseph Cornell's boxes are all acknowledged, then personalized. Throughout there is a sense of
unity-of opposites, of the living and the manmade, of the natural and the designed.
Although she exhibited little during her lifetime, Baron's work can now be found in numerous museum
collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art
Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987 is organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution
Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in cooperation with the Estate of Hannelore Baron and the Manny
Silverman Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition is curated by independent art historian Ingrid Schaffner,
who is also senior curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
The exhibition is accompanied by an 74-page, full-color catalogue featuring an essay by the curator. The
catalogue has been made possible through the generous support of The Judith Rothschild Foundation,
Ruth and Robert Halperin, Ruth and Barney O'Hara, The Jamie and Steve Tisch Foundation, Mary Mhoon,
and The Howard Earl Rachofsky Foundation. The catalogue is available at the University of Richmond
Hannelore Baron (American, 1926-1987).
Torn Flag, 1977,
wood, cloth, ink, tempera, and
paper on wooden box with hinged lid
9 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 12 3/8 inches
Estate of the artist,
Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles.
Copyright Estate of the artist.