The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
The LEF Foundation, San Francisco
Washington University Art Museum, St. Louis
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (FRAC), France
Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum, South Korea
Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro
Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo
In her work, Brazilian artist Frida Baranek comments on the fragility of human beings, nature, and the environment. She often use both natural and industrial materials in sculptures, prints, and paper works to depict contrasting themes and textures on the verge of instability or confrontation. Her use of raw materials in a grandiose fashion hints at emotion merging into concept—manual experimentation with the properties of materials is an important aspect of her practice.
Baranek’s works appropriate certain elements from nature and human artifacts: trees, islands, swimming pools, domes, ropes, screens, cocoons. For her sculptures, she often use heavy tools and mechanical equipment to transform new and leftover steel sheets and tubes, iron wire, and even airplane parts into abstract sculptures that resemble forms found in the natural world. Says Baranek of this practice, “the organic appearance of industrial products and waste is not the only paradox evident in my work. Despite the weight of the materials, the delicately woven metal grids and nest-like constructions appear surprisingly light and airy. By demonstrating that even industrial materials can have meaning if reused and remade, the sculptures lie at the crossroads of two important issues in our world today: environmentalism and recycling. My sculptural language displays the relationship between individual consciousness and social collapse.”
In 2013, Baranek was a recipient of a mid-career survey “Confrontos” at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. Her work has been included at the 1989 Biennale de Sao Paulo, the 1990 Bienalle di Venezia-Aperto, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Maison d’Amerique Latine, MAM Sao Paulo and the Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, in addition to many others. In 2014 Barleu Ediçoes published a 217 page bilingual book about Baranek’s work, which included an essay from the art critic Roberto Conduru. She has been represented sicne 1990 by Galeria Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo.
Courtesy of the Artist