You must first login or register to follow this artist.

b. 1981, Republic of Dominica

Firelei Baez Biography

New York-based artist Firelei Báez casts diasporic histories into an imaginative realm, re-working visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. In exuberantly colourful works on paper and canvas, large-scale sculptures, and immersive installations, Báez combines representational cues that span from hair textures to textile patterns, plant-life, folkloric and literary references, and wide- ranging emblems of healing and resistance.

Read More

Often featuring strong female protagonists, Baez's portraits incorporate the visual languages of regionally-specific mythology and ritual alongside those of science fiction and fantasy, to envision identities as unfixed, and inherited stories as perpetually-evolving. These empowered figures' eyes most often engage directly with the viewer, asserting individuality and agency within their states of flux.

Born in Santiago de los Caballeros to a Dominican mother and a father of Haitian descent, Firelei Báez's concerns with the politics of place and heritage can be traced back to her own upbringing on the border between Hispaniola's two neighbouring countries, whose longstanding history of tension is predicated in large part by ethnic difference. Báez's work ties together subject matter mined from a wide breadth of diasporic narratives. In addition to self-portraiture, past series have examined ciguapas, elusive and cunning female creatures from Dominican folklore; tignons, head-coverings women of colour were legally required to wear in 18th century New Orleans; and the iconography of the Black Panther Movement. Báez often paints directly onto historical material, such as found maps, manuals, and travelogues, layering figures over them. By rendering spectacular bodies that exist on opposite sides of intersecting boundaries—between human and landscape, for example, or those reinforcing racial and class stratification—Báez carries portraiture into an in-between space, where subjectivity is rooted in cultural and colonial narratives as much as it can likewise become untethered by them.

Firelei Báez (b. 1981, Dominican Republic) received an M.F.A. from Hunter College, a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union's School of Art, and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2024, Báez will be the subject of her first major US survey at the ICA Boston, curated by Eva Respini. Her work has been presented in many significant international exhibitions, including the inaugural installation of the ICA Watershed, Boston (2021), curated by Eva Respini, now on view at The Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas, and The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022), curated by Cecilia Alemani. 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 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Cleveland Museum of Art; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Baltimore Museum of Art; and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai. She is the recipient of many awards, most recently the Cooper Union President's Citation (2022), Artes Mundi Prize (2021), and Philip Guston Rome Prize (2021). Báez's work is held in many significant private and public collections; the latter include the Baltimore Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Dallas Museum of Art; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo; Pérez Art Museum Miami; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Tate, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Text courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Firelei Baez
featured artworks

Wanderlust demanding recompense by Firelei Baez contemporary artwork works on paper
Firelei Baez Wanderlust demanding recompense, 2016 Acrylic and ink on paper

Not for sale
Para Site

Firelei Baez
current & recent
exhibitions

Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris +7

Firelei Baez in
Ocula Magazine

Read 2 More
Read 2 More
Learn more about the market for works
by Firelei Baez.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Firelei Baez
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login