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Visiting Artists Program (VAP) Resource Guides

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The Visiting Artists Program resource guides contain upcoming speakers' biographies, articles, video and audio content, related publications in the Flaxman Library, and additional online resources. These guides may be used in the classroom in preparation for the event, research, or post-lecture discussion.

Firelei Báez | This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.


Black and white headshot of Firelei BáezNew York-based artist Firelei Báez casts diasporic histories into an imaginative realm, reworking visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother and a father of Haitian descent, Báez traces her concerns with the politics of place and heritage back to her upbringing on the border between the island of Hispaniola’s two neighboring countries whose long-standing tensions are predicated in large part on ethnic difference. 

In exuberantly colorful works on paper and canvas, large-scale sculptures, and immersive installations, Báez combines representational cues that span hair textures, textile patterns, plant life, folkloric and literary references, and wide-ranging emblems of healing and resistance. Often featuring strong female protagonists, her paintings incorporate the visual languages of regionally specific mythology and ritual alongside those of science fiction and fantasy to envision identities as unfixed and inherited narratives as perpetually evolving.

Báez’s work has been presented in many significant international exhibitions, including the inaugural installation of the ICA Watershed, Boston (2021) and The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022). In 2023 and 2024, Báez will be the subject of two major museum exhibitions. The first will be held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in October 2023 and the second exhibition will begin at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston in 2024 and travel to two additional American museums. Recent solo presentations of Báez’s work include exhibitions at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and Pérez Art Museum Miami. The artist has recently participated in a number of group exhibitions at major institutions, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Cleveland Museum of Art; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Baltimore Museum of Art; and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai.

Portrait credit: Firelei Báez. Photo: Lia Clay

Artist Website

Firelei Báez’s website

Gallery Representation

James Cohan Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery


With 'Americananana,' Firelei Báez Reveals the Myths of Mapmaking
Rachel Summer Small | Cultured Magazine | December 7, 2022

Firelei Báez Brings an Afrofuturist Empire in the Atlantic to the MCA Chicago
Tessa Solomon | ARTnews | April 7, 2022

In Boston, Art That Rises From the Deep*
Siddhartha Mitter | New York Times | July 2, 2021
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Firelei Báez Explores Diasporic Histories, Mythical Figures, and Imagined Realms at James Cohan Gallery in New York
Victoria L. Valentine | Culture Type | May 8, 2020

Firelei Báez with Hồng-Ân Trương
Hồng-Ân Trương | November 2018




Firelei Báez at the Momentary, satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art 
Baéz’s largest sculptural installation to date, To breathe full and free: a declaration, a re-visioning, a correction (19º36’16.9”N 72º13’07.0’’W, 42º21’48.762’’N 71º1’59.628’’W, 36° 22′ 0.1848” N94° 12′ 8.64” W), will be on view through July 16, 2023. 

Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990’s–Today at MCA Chicago
Forecast Form, the first major group exhibition in the United States to envision a new approach to contemporary art in the Caribbean diaspora, will be in view through April 23, 2023.

Firelei Báez at MCA Chicago
This large-scale reproduction of Báez’s painting Untitled (Drexciya) (2020) will be on view through April 9, 2023 as part of the MCA Chicago’s Atrium Project.  

Firelei Báez at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art
Firelei Báez: the vast ocean of all possibilities (19°36'16.9"N 72°13'07.0"W, 41°30'32.3"N 81°36'41.7"W), an installation part of an ongoing series in which the artist reimagines the archaeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in northern Haiti, was exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art (July 16, 2022 – January 15, 2023).

The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale 
On view April 23 – November 27, 2022, The Milk of Dreams presents a series of recent paintings made by layering paint drips that extend outward from the canvas and approach the medium as a method for giving form to memory.

Visiting Artists Program Lecture Recordings from the Archive
SAIC Visiting Artists Program video and audio lecture recordings (1977–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.

SAIC Digital Collections: Visiting Artists Program
SAIC Visiting Artists Program publicity archive and audio recordings (197798).