Cantor Arts Center At Stanford University Presents Collage And Assemblage By Self-Taught Artist Hannelore Baron

May 22 - September 1, 2002

Stanford, CA, February 8, 2002—The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University presents the West Coast premiere of the exhibition Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to1987. This is the first national tour of work by self-taught artist Hannelore Baron (born 1926 Germany, died 1987 U.S.), who made collages and box assemblages for her own satisfaction and self-expression. The exhibition is on view at Stanford, free, from May 22 through September 1.

As a Holocaust survivor, a person who suffered periodic depression, and a cancer patient, Baron found more than solace in her art—she found a fountain of creativity with which she could explore her feelings and ideas. She developed a profoundly personal iconography that included abbreviated human figures, birds, patterns, and hieroglyphics to symbolize her own anguish as well as that of modern mankind. The intimate scale of her work (few collages are wider than 12 inches) and their abstract qualities help the personal themes achieve a universal appeal.

Often compared to the art of Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters, Baron's work combines a sense of naïveté with sincerity and appreciation for the accidental. With their torn and tattered edges and fragments of chipped wood, Baron's pieces are imbued with a sense of passing time and the frailty of the human spirit. Although she was undoubtedly influenced by her early traumas, she never wanted her work to be associated solely with the Holocaust. Other influences shaped Baron's art, including American Indian, African, and Tantric art, Persian miniatures, illuminated pages of the Koran, and existentialism.

Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987 will travel to six additional cities in a national tour through March 2004. The exhibition 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 art historian Ingrid Schaffner. The exhibition's presentation at the Cantor Arts Center is made possible by the Halperin Exhibition Fund.