After my trek to the Guggenheim, we headed to a few other places, including the Leslie Feely Fine Art Gallery to see an exhibit of collages and box constructions by Hannelore Baron, an artist Benedicte spoke very highly of. The pieces on display were primarily from private collections and her estate. I found the work haunting. The more I read about her, the more I found myself looking deeper into her pieces. I learned Ms. Baron was born in 1926 in Dilligen, Germany to Jewish parents who were the owners of a small textile shop. During “the Night of Broken Glass,” she witnessed Nazis horrors, including the destruction of the shop and her father beaten with a hammer. You can read more about her from this news release from Stanford News Service and this Wikipedia page. Eventually she and some of her family managed to get out of Europe and settled in the Bronx where she studied costume design. Sadly, she suffered from depression throughout her life, had the first of three nervous breakdowns after age 20. She died in 1987.
– Michael Kimmelman, from a The New York Times, October 1, 1993 described the defining characteristic of her work as fragile, “both physical and spiritual-the sense of quiet, private anguish expressed through forlorn materials and cryptic, edgy scrawls.” Here is another New York Times review on her work.
Photographs were allowed, and I share several images below.
From the catalog, ” Everything I’ve done is a statement on the, as they say, human condition…the way other people march to Washington, or set themselves on fire, or write protest letters, or go to assassinate someone. Well, I’ve had all the same feelings that these people had about various things, and my way out, because of my inability to do anything else for various reasons, has been to make the protest through my artwork…” H.B.