Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by Jane Brockman.
Hannelore Baron (1926 – 1987) was first introduced to Los Angeles and West Coast audiences by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in 1984. The present exhibition marks the gallery’s fifth solo presentation of the artist’s works, which it last exhibited in 1989, concurrent with the memorial tribute exhibition presented by the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Hannelore Baron was born in Dillingen, Saarland, Germany. Her intimate expressions reflected her interest in primitive art and ancient civilizations and their vestiges. Hannelore Baron’s work is a reaction to her humanistic concerns which, while they have their origins in the hardships endured as an adolescent in Germany in the 1930’s, dealt with current issues. The collages are paper and frayed cloth with drawing, at times containing her printed images, stitching, creasing and tearing. Her assemblages often incorporated her collages, found objects, wood, paint, strings, and the like. Her works are notable for their remarkable poignancy and visceral impact that belie their intimate scale.
In the numerous writings on her work, Hannelore Baron is singled out as one of the foremost contemporary artists in her medium – “a spiritual sister to Paul Klee” in her work’s “heroic intimacy” and a “strong cohort of Kurt Schwitters in her formal ordering of human detritus.”The New York Times in reporting her death wrote “…Her work is marked by the gravity, discretion and wit of a survivor. She had a special feeling for paper, for the weight of communication it can bear and the weight of history that settles so easily on its edges and surfaces. She described herself as a pacifist and wanted her quietly intense work to convince others of the need to listen. She used letters as symbols of memory and birds as symbols of vulnerability and the need for song…” Los Angeles Times critic, Christopher Knight, wrote: “Baron’s fragile little boxes have the authentic intensity of potent memento mori. Once seen, they’re not easily forgotten.”
Hannelore Baron’s work is represented in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Art Institute of Chicago, Albright-Knox Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and others. Her works have been extensively exhibited on the East Coast and Europe, including a major retrospective undertaken by the Saarland Museum, Saarbruken West Germany.
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at thuvanarts.com. His art films can be seen at
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