Now showing at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris is a look at the Miami-based artist Hernan Bas, unprecedented in France. The exhibition, entitled “Considering Henry,” is on view through March 13, 2010 and borrows new works from major collections belonging to the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, MOCA (both Los Angeles and Miami), The Rubell Family Collection, The Saatchi Collection, SFMOMA and the Hirshhorn. Tracing prevalent themes of solitude and reflection in Bas’s romantically-inflected oeuvre, the exhibition follows the artist’s steadfast inspiration in nineteenth-century literature and painting.
More images, text and related links after the jump…
A direct tribute to the philosopher Henry David Thoreau, “Considering Henry” traces Bas’s fascination with canonical Transcendentalist writing, including the quintessential Walden (1854), in which the author’s pivotal concept of civil disobedience is expounded. Giving voice to the individual’s voluntarily extrication from society and spiritual fulfillment in nature, works such as The landmark (or the laser point) depict a minuscule figure in an isolated dwelling space, decrying organized civilization for his lawless, stormy environment.
Dense in mythical and metaphorical content, The bagpiper in exile (or, the sad wind), for example, descends from Bas’s theoretical grounding in Classical painting and the French Romanticists, including Lautreamont and Huysmans.
In paintings recalling the Fauvist method and palette, Bas applies thick swatches of paint to his canvases via velvety, apparent brushstrokes. Interposing tiny figures between thick shoots of vegetative overgrowth, the painter portrays human organisms in densely populated natural wilderness. Serving as deferential meditations into man’s relationship with nature, Bas’s highly emotive paintings call for re-examinations of ourselves and basic necessities.
All images via Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin unless otherwise noted.