Works roar with power and beauty

Firelei Báez, Man Without a Country (aka anthropophagist wading in the Artibonite River), 2014–15, courtesy the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.


PITTSBURGH, PA – (AAPNW) – Opening Friday, February 17, 2017 at the Andy Warhol Museum, “Firelei Báez: Bloodlines” features 15 works, including four new works that are exhibited in a museum for the first time. Báez will create a site-specific artwork in the exhibition space in The Warhol’s second floor galleries. These are created with students from the local community, whereas the wall painting points to Báez’s belief in painting as ritualistic and ultimately communal. The show remains on view through May 21, 2017.

Firelei Báez, Demetrea, 2010, collection of John P. Morrissey, image courtesy of Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Firelei Báez creates large-scale paintings and drawings that explore gender, race and the history of social movements in the Unites States and the Caribbean.

The ambiguity of race is probed by Báez with works like Can I Pass? From a female viewpoint, Caribbean histories, folklore and diasporic narratives are also explored by artist Báez, revealing histories that are not always highlighted in mainstream culture. The labor intensive, delicate and colorful works depict textiles, hair designs and body ornaments that showcase female subjects as strongly connected to both a past and present.

In several paintings women are featured in elaborate tignons, 18th century headdresses imposed by law for women of color in New Orleans and a tradition that although imposed as a form of oppression became, through elaborate patterning and design, a symbol of power and beauty. Also featured in several works are Azabache, gemstones carved into fists and worn in Latin American cultures as protection from evil spirits, and panthers, a symbol claimed by the Black Panthers, the African American revolutionary party founded in the 1960s.


Today, Firelei Báez lives and works in New York. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union School of Art and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and at Pérez Art Museum Miami, as well as residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, the Joan Mitchell Center, the Fine Arts Work Center, Lower East Side Printshop, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace. She received the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors award, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman award in painting, the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, and the Chiaro Award from the Headlands.

     Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, the Andy Warhol Museum ( holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.




Published by on January 2017. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, At the Museums dept, Global, News (Time related), PaletteBoards Section, Pennsylvania. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed