The first solo exhibition in Europe of Dominican American artist Firelei Báez (b. 1981). In her monumental paintings and installations, New York-based Báez creates images bursting with colours and symbols based on her own Caribbean culture, featuring folktales, colonial occupation, revolution and divided societies.
A key figure in painting today, Firelei Báez succeeds in drawing her viewers into enveloping, fictional worlds with poetic precision. Taking point of departure in how inherited stories shape and maintain culture and identity, Báez challenges powerful concepts like truth and history. Her approach to painting is thus intentionally destructive.
A new language of power
Firelei Báez usually paints on top of ancient colonial maps or construction plans for colonial architecture, both of which represent the establishment’s notion of truthfulness and objectivity. The artist overwrites – or replaces – the language of power with a powerful, colourful expression, mixing real-life events with sci-fi fables.
The exhibition focuses mainly on works Báez has created over the past five years, including a large number of new works. It will also feature several of Báez’s characteristic paper installations, in which she combines countless painted pages of books and maps to form a single work. These installations form the basis of her large paintings.