Urgent Museum Notice

Frida Baranek

Born in 1961

She uses heavy tools and mechanical equipment to transform leftover steel sheets and tubes, iron wire, and even airplane parts into abstract sculptures that resemble forms found in the natural world.

The organic appearance of industrial waste is not the only paradox evident in Baranek’s work. Despite the weight of her materials, her delicately woven metal grids and nest-like constructions appear surprisingly light and airy.

By demonstrating that even industrial debris and other discarded materials can have meaning if reused and remade, Baranek’s sculptures lie at the crossroads of two important issues in our world today: environmentalism and recycling.

These ideas are particularly important in her home country of Brazil. In the past 40 years, this largest of South American countries has experienced immense changes related to rapid urbanization and industrialization.

Like many contemporary artists, Baranek is a global citizen. Since the 1980s, she has lived and worked in São Paulo, Paris, Berlin, and New York City. Baranek has participated in many solo and group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de São Paulo.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Frida Baranek
  • Birth

    Rio de Janeiro, 1961

Works by Frida Baranek


Frida Baranek’s untitled sculpture looks as if it were assembled from lightweight natural materials that might tumble off the pedestal if set in motion by a gust of wind. However, it is actually made of iron wire and rods and weighs about 90 pounds.

The work’s dense central form is a circular mass of rusted iron wire. It is bisected with...

Large, abstract sculpture, fabricated of rusted iron wires, conveys an organic form. At center is a mass of thin, tangled wires shaped into a thick disc, sitting on edge. From either side of the center disc a mass of slightly bent, thicker wires juts straight out.

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