Baez, Firelei

Firelei Baez makes large scale, intricate works on paper that are intrinsically indebted to a rigorous studio practice. Through a convergence of interest in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity and women’s work; her art explores the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies, which have an ability to live with cultural ambiguities and use them to build psychological and even metaphysical defenses against cultural invasions.

She received a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union’s School of Art in 2004, participated in The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2008, and later received an M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2010. She has held residencies at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, The Lower East Side Print Shop and The Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace.

Baez’s work has been written about in The New York Times, The LA Times, Artforum, Art in America, New American Paintings, The Huffington Post and Studio Museum Magazine. Her work will be featured in the upcoming Phaidon drawing anthology Vitamin D2.

She was a recipient of the prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award as well as the Jaque and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting.

Her work is currently on view at The Studio Museum’s emerging artist exhibition Fore. 



Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Lives and works in New York, NY


2004    B.F.A., The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NY

2008    Skowhegan School Of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

2010    M.F.A., Hunter College, NY


2015       Firelei Baez-Current Work, Solo Exhibition (Upcoming) Perez Art Museum of Miami, PAMM, Miami, Fl


2014      Prospect 3 U.S. Biennial, Notes for Now, New Orleans Biennial, Curated by Franklyn Sirmans, New Orleans, LA

Small, drawing exhibition curated by Claire Gilman, The Drawing Center, New York, NY

Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, curated by Elvis Fuentes at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, FL

I Scarcely have the right to use this ghostly verb, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New School, New York, NY

Firelei Báez: Fine Arts Work Center Solo Exhibition, Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown, MA

Context and Counteractions: Selected Works by the 2013-2014 FAWC Visual Art Fellows, PAM Museum of Art



2013    Fore, Studio Museum’s upcoming fourth emerging artist exhibition, curated by Naima Keith, Thomas Lax and Lauren Hayes, New York, NY.

Appendix to a Memory Table (Solo Exhibition), Richard Heller Gallery,CA

Flags Of Twilight (Solo Exhibition), Nunc-Contemporary, Antwerp, Belgium

More Than A Likeness – McClain Gallery, Houston, TX

The Bronx Museum AIM Biennial, Bronx Museum, NY

Crossing the Line: Contemporary Drawing and Artistic Process, Mixed Greens, NY, NY.

Emo Show, Elizabeth Foundation, NY.

Drawn to Nature, curated by Jennifer McGregor at Wave Hill, NY.

Offcolor: Palimpsest (Solo Exhibition), Morgan Lehman Project Space, NY.

Corporeal Contours: Works by Firelei Baez and Andrea Chung, curated by Jillian Narkornthap at Community Folk Art Center, NY


2012     Not Even Unalterable Limitations, (solo exhibition) Richard Heller Gallery,

Santa Monica, CA.

 Harbingers & Psychopomps, The IMC Lab + Gallery, New York, NY

Contemporary Watercolor, curated by Veronica Roberts, Morgan    Lehman Gallery, New York, NY.

Psycho*Pomp (solo exhibition), Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno, NV.

ACIREMA, Curated by Cesar Garcia at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Body Snatchers, Curated by Raul Zamudio, White Box, NY.

Cultural Transference, Curated by Sara Reissman, EFA Project Space, NY.

Volver, Gitana Rosa Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

Restrictions, Limitations, Confinements, Casita Maria Center, Bronx, NY

MomentaArt’s 2012 Spring Benefit, Momenta, Brooklyn, NY.

Paper Kettle, at Saffron Space, Brooklyn, NY.


2011   Museum As a Hub: Alpha’s Bet is Not Over Yet, at the New Museum,

New York, NY

The S/ Files, El Museo’s 6th Biennial, at El Museo, Curated by Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Trinidad Fombella and Elvis Fuentes, New York, NY

The African Continuum, at the United Nations, New York, NY

Afro-Latin@s Now! Strategies for Visibility and Action, Graduate Center CUNY, New York.

Disillusions: Gendered Visions of the Caribbean and its Diasporas, Curated by Tatiana Flores, Middlesex Art Gallery, Middlesex, NJ.

16th Annual International Exhibition, Curated by Dean Daderko, SOHO2O Gallery, New York, NY

Elastic Identity, at IMC Lab + Gallery, New York, NY

Paperwork, curated by Nina Chanel Abney, New York, NY

Edouard Glissant: Inhabit his Name, Be Black Baby at Recess Space, New York, NY


2010     Hair Tactics, New Jersey City Museum, Curated by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, Jersey City, NJ

This elusive mirror image of matter, (Solo Exhibition)Times Square    Gallery, Hunter College, New York, NY

Supercluster, Praxis International Art, Miami, FL

Thinking Performance at the Guggenheim, Performed in Joan Jonas’- Mirror Piece I: Reconfigured, Guggenheim Museum, NY

Introductions6, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DC

Around the Way, curated by El Museo del Barrio, Macy’s, NY, NY

Lush, Art Solar, East Hampton, NY

Graphomania, at Garbageman/Astronaut Project Space, Portland, OR

Boundless Discourse, Kresge Gallery, Ramapo College, Ramapo, NJ

Wearing Spirit, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, NY

Dance Ghost, Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, NY

Resonance, Rabbithole Gallery, Brooklyn, NY



2013       Fine Arts Work Center, Artist In Residence

Headlands Center for the Arts, Artist In Residence

Dieu Donné Paper Mill, Workspace Artist in Residence

Wave Hill, Workspace Artist in Residence

2012      AIM, Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum

Keyholder Residency, Lower East Side Print Shop

2011     Workspace Residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

2010     Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award in Painting

2008     Skowhegan School Of Painting and Sculpture, Full Fellowship, Skowhegan, ME

2007     Bronx Recognizes its Own (BRIO) Award recipient

Aljira Emerge, A Career Management and Exhibition Program for   Emerging Artists

2004    The Jaque and Natasha Gelman Award for Painting. New York, NY

2003   The O’Brien Travel Award, Cooper Union. New York, NY.

2002   William Randolph Hearst Award, Cooper Union. New York, NY


Aranda, Alvarado.Vitamin D2 Artist Essay Phaidon, London, UK. 2013


Price, Matt, Vitamin D2, Phaidon, London, UK. 2013


Pearlman, Ellen. The Power Behind the Mask, Hyperallergenic, May 23, 2013
Caldwell, Ellen C., The Limitless Possibilities of Firelei Baez at Richard Heller Gallery, New American Paintings, 17 April 2012

Meier, Allison. EMERGING: Firelei Baez Forms a Lush Mixed-Media Landscape from Self and History, Blowin ARTINFO, NY.November 30, 2012

Myers, Holly, Art Review: Firelei Baez at Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles Times, 14 April 2012.

Perez, Jorge Alberto. Pigmentocracy and the Calendar Girl. ARC Magazine. Issue 4. 2012

Cotter, Holland. Artists Who’s Vitality Flows from the Streets. The New York Times, 16 June 2011.

Miller, Leigh Anne. A Continental Biennial: Rocio Aranda-Alvarado on “The (S) Files”. Art in America. 12, October 2011. New York, NY.

Stephens, Michelle. “The Fantasy in Bits and Pieces: The Illusory Body of the Caribbean/Female Artist”. Disillusions catalogue essay. Rutgers, NJ.

Parker, Tasha. “If you like…”. Studio: The Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine, Summer/Fall 2011. New York, NY.