Hannelore Baron’s art was heavily informed by her traumatic childhood. Born in Germany to Jewish parents, her father was one of many victims of Kristallnacht in 1938; severely beaten, he was hauled away by police and then sent to Dachau. Baron, her brother, and mother returned the next morning to their ransacked apartment and her father’s bloody handprints on the wall, an image that was forever imprinted in her memory. After a period of flight and insecurity, she and her family were able to emigrate to New York in 1941. Baron graduated from Staubenmiller Textile High School in Manhattan and became a self-taught artist, first experimenting with painting, then gradually incorporating more mixed media which developed into assemblages such as the present lot. Haunted by the horrors of her past, she struggled with depression and claustrophobia throughout her life. Her creations, especially her three-dimensional works, were both therapeutic explorations and visual manifestations of her psyche, memories, concerns, and her fiercely anti-nationalist and anti-war views. 

Everything I’ve done is a statement on the...human condition…The materials I use in the box constructions and cloth collages are gathered with great care.

Hannelore Baron