A dozen large scale paintings by local artist Hetty Baiz comprise the exhibition, “Nonhuman Animals: Eat, Test, Love,” the first of this year’s season at the Woodrow Wilson School’s Bernstein Gallery.
Inspired by the work of Princeton University professor and animal rights activist, Peter Singer and his influential book Animal Liberation, first printed in 1975, these new paintings will be on view through October 18.
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.
In addition to Mr. 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, the panelists are: 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. Ms. Baiz, will give a brief introduction to her work and its inspiration.
Ms. 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 of 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, the artist 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.
Ms. Baiz received a BFA from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia University. Her most recent solo exhibits include Morpeth Contemporary, Hopewell, (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, 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 United States. She is an active member of the Princeton Artist Alliance.
The exhibition and the panel discussion are free and open to the public.
For more information, call (609) 258-0157 .