Jan 30, 2023

Untitled (Plate 36. Vertical and Latitudinal Distribution of Animal Life)

Untitled (Plate 36. Vertical and Latitudinal Distribution of Animal Life)


Firelei Báez

(American, b. 1981)

Oil and acrylic on archival printed canvas

226.7 x 271.1 x 3.8 cm (89 1/4 x 106 3/4 x 1 1/2 in.)

Purchased with funds donated by Scott Mueller 2023.6

Did you know?

The 1911 map used beneath this painting was sourced by the artist from the David Rumsey Map collection, an encyclopedic collection of historical maps and diagrams.


Firelei Báez has become a leading voice in her generation of Latinx artists. Her work addresses themes that include histories of colonization, popular culture, and the natural world. In this painting, the underlying map is a 1911 diagram of the distribution of animal life across the globe. Báez layered a vibrant and gestural painting over the map. Her composition reimagines the spread of life throughout the world as a frenzied explosion of creation, untethered from rigid scientific study. Pulsing with life, the painting draws the viewer in and invites them to consider how the global biosphere is measured and quantified.

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