my make believe collection :: 12 :: hannelore baron

Contributor post by Lisa Solomon

standing and ooohing and ah-ing and sighing at a flat file, opening drawers one by one, in new york upper east side private gallery with fellow artist jay kelly the dealer smiled, remarking "hannelore is such an artist's artist".

i couldn't agree more. i know several artists who are deeply and passionately in love with her small, personal, intense collages and constructions.

i was first introduced to her work by my mother in law [a talented abstract painter in her own right]. she gave me a catalogue of hannelore's work and i think my jaw simply dropped.

baron was born to jewish parents in germany. they owned a fabric shop. she survived the holocaust. came to america via portugal. began making collages in her 40's after studying a significant amount of asian philosophy. she battled depression and cancer [and the dealer told us agoraphobia].

i tell you these things, but i think they are all evident in the work. her vocabulary was strong - stripes, wrapping, suggestions of human figures, string/wrapping, birds.... they all make appearances and i think are key to the internal workings and meanings of her work.

i love small works. i, too, make small works because i think your relationship changes to something when you can envision holding it in your hands. but these diminutive works [most are around 8 inches or so in size] pack an incredible punch. when you actually see them in person the texture is simply divine. the overlay of materials - the snippets of found patterns, the scratchiness of the ink marks. the desperate, haunting, sad and yet still hopeful nature of these makes them some of the most compelling pieces i've ever encountered in my life [i was also lucky enough to see a show of her work at stanford ].

she also made box constructions. [obviously related to joseph cornell boxes - but perhaps a slightly more "feminine" version]. i love how she mixes materials so effortlessly. how things that might be scraps or overlooked fragments become pieces of treasure. there is an immediacy to the work - the evidence of her making a mark - confidently. her sense of placement and composition are amazing. as is her sense of color. looking at the work you can see phases - where she pairs down to grays, and reds and blacks, and neutrals. and then ochres, and pinks, the occasional blues make strong and poignant appearances. 
i would own practically ANYTHING of hers. seriously. i don't think i've ever seen a piece where i internally said - oh. that one isn't really so good. sure i have those that i like more than others, but really in many ways her entire body of work has stolen my heart. so for the sake of this post i'll choose one collage:

and one assemblage box:

until next time.... keep track of my collection on pinterest


lisa solomon is a mixed media artist who lives in oakland, CA with her husband, young daughter, a one eyed pit bull, a french bulldog, a cross-eyed cat, a 3 legged cat, and many many spools of thread. she moonlights as a college professor, a graphic designer, and is a partner in MODify/d a crafty biz that up/cycles and re/purposes discards from the fashion industry.

Jan Halvarson


Eireann said...

LISA. this one. i bet you could have called my reaction, but wow. i didn't know her stuff and i love it. thank you.

Momichka said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have found many talented artists through your blog.

lisa solomon said...

eireann - yeah. she's an alltime fav. so so so good. and i could have guessed, but am glad to hear you love as well.

momichka - most most welcome ! so glad !!

Unknown said...

Finally, a Hannelore Baron website:
Still some corrections and formatting to do, but it's 95% done. If you know someone who would be interested please send them a link - now that I've made the site I have no idea how to get the word out.
Mark Baron (Hannelore's son)

Virginia said...

Mark - I was so pleased to see a website for your mother's work. I stumbled across an exhibit of her work at a gallery in Los Angeles 20 years ago, and I was moved beyond words. I cherish the gallery pamphlet I purchased for that show. I have already send links to friends and will post to my blog and Facebook page. Thanks again. What a gift your mother had... Many thanks to Poppytalk and Lisa Solomon for this lovely post.

Mark said...

There's a Hannelore Baron show up now (through July 16, 2016) at Leslie Feely, 33 East 68th. And it's a special one, she had a stash of collages she would hide when dealers came to select work, her favorites (she had a hard time saying no, easier to hide them). I did the same for almost 30 years, but I was sad they weren't being seen, so here they are. Please see the show if you can, and please let anyone you know who might enjoy it know about it. Thanks.
Mark Baron
(Hannelore's son)