Nonhuman Animals: Eat, Test, Love
Audience:Open to the Public
Mixed media works by Hetty Baiz
Exhibition dates: September 16 – October 18, 2013
Panel Discussion: Tuesday, October 8, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Bernstein Gallery, Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Bernstein Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment
Contact: Kate Somers, 609-497-2441
“Nonhuman Animals: Eat, Test, Love,” large scale paintings by Hetty Baiz, is the first exhibition of the season at the Bernstein Gallery at the Woodrow Wilson School, on view September 16 through October 18, 2013. A panel discussion will be held in conjunction with the exhibition on Tuesday, October 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Bowl 016, Robertson Hall, on the lower level of the Woodrow Wilson School. An artist reception will follow the talk at 6 p.m. in the Bernstein Gallery. The panelists are: Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Ethics, Princeton University and Laureate Professor School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne; Jeff McMahan, professor of philosophy, Rutgers University; and Stanley Katz, moderator, professor of public and international affairs and director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. The artist, Hetty Baiz, will give a brief introduction to her work and its inspiration. Both events are free and open to the public.
Baiz, a Princeton-based artist, continues her interest in animals with these 12 large scale paintings in “Nonhuman Animals: Eat, Test, Love.” This recent body of work found its direct inspiration from Peter Singer’s book, Animal Liberation, first printed in 1975. Baiz’s earlier works include rhinoceros, elephants, iguanas and other wild animals, but her focus here is on animals that are factory farmed and laboratory tested, the subject of Singer’s seminal publication.
“Nearly 40 years after Animal Liberation, even more animals are suffering in factory farms run by large corporations that increase their profits by producing cheap food in massive quantity,” writes Ilene Dube in an introduction to the catalog that accompanies the show. “There’s no room in the equation for animal welfare. Worse, new ‘ag-gag’ laws have been introduced in a number of states that punish the whistle-blowers who document abusive conditions for livestock and poultry.”
The cow, pig, cat, rat and other animals that make up this exhibition are all created by piecing together bits of hand-made, hand-painted papers from different cultures, and photographs taken from the artist’s travel in Asia and Africa. After building up the canvas with layers of torn papers, Baiz then reworks the surface by incising, scraping, and burning it, which she then may further articulate by her hand drawing or painting. Occasionally, she will use found materials, such as old linoleum bits, to provide a different texture, as can be seen in her “Calf.”
These animals, noble and anonymous, ask the viewer to consider his or her own responsibility in allowing one species to dominate and subjugate another.
Hetty Baiz received a BFA from Cornell University and a MBA from Columbia University. Her most recent solo exhibits include Morpeth Contemporary, Hopewell, NJ (2011), Tenri Cultural Institute, New York City (2009); and DrawingSpace, Melbourne, Australia (2008). She has been selected for numerous juried exhibitions including the New Jersey Arts Annual 2010 at the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, and the 2009 International Women Artists' Biennale in Incheon, South Korea. Baiz has also exhibited in group shows in Tibet, China and France as well as numerous museums and venues in the US.
This exhibition is part of “Concentric Circles of Influence: The Birth of Artists’ Communities in Central New Jersey,” a region-wide project that celebrates the confluence of art communities that first developed in the region in the late 1930s. Baiz is an active member of the Princeton Artist Alliance, one such art group that continues to play a crucial role in making New Jersey an important cultural center.