Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art: In Focus Ocula Report Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art: In Focus 14 Dec 2018 : Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein for Ocula

Retrospective 1965–2017, Beatriz González's exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (13 October 2018–6 January 2019), presents a selection of 120 works that bear witness to Colombia's political and social upheavals of the last 50 years. Throughout, the link between González's practice and the sociopolitical context it references...

Read More
Ingrid Schaffner Ocula Conversation Ingrid Schaffner Curator, 57th Carnegie International

Founded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie as part of the Carnegie Institute in 1895, Carnegie Museum sought to 'bring the world' to the city with a grand building housing a natural history museum, a library, and an art museum operating as a fluid space for knowledge exchange. In its 123-year history, the institution has built up a world-class...

Read More
Extra States: Nations in Liquidation at Kunsthal Extra City Ocula Report Extra States: Nations in Liquidation at Kunsthal Extra City 8 Dec 2018 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

The nation-state—a nation (a people) presided over by a governing body with jurisdiction over a defined territory (the state)—is either going through a renaissance or demise, depending on one's perspective. There has been talk about the nation-state's end for years—from a 2013 United States National Intelligence Council report...

Read More

Hernan Bas

b. 1978, USA

With their thick applications of paint and distinct, layered brushstrokes, American artist Hernan Bas' sensual portraits and landscapes are inspired by literature, sexuality, old-world romanticism and the supernatural.

Bas grew up in Florida and was struck by the superficial obsession with idealised male bodies in Miami in the 1980s and 1990s. Addressing such vanity, Bas made early paintings with the diet drink Slim Fast. In Slim Fast Silhouette (1999–2000), a thin young man sits with a finger outstretched, his body rendered in splotchy browns. The series' inclusion in a landmark exhibition titled Making Art in Miami: Travels in Hyperreality (2000) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami launched Bas' career.

Male beauty is paramount to Bas's figurative paintings. Stirred by the romance and sentimentalism of 19th-century writers like Oscar Wilde and Joris-Karl Huysmans, Bas' work is particularly concerned with the 'dandy' figure—a young, effeminate and handsome man—whom he renders often lounging with a blank expression in luxuriant settings. In _Bloomsbury revisited (air plants) _(2017), for example, a comely man's face is reflected in a golden mirror surrounded by ornamental objects such as a painted plate, a flickering candle and spidery succulents. Similarly, in the 2018 painting How best to tolerate the stench of modernity, a freckled, adolescent-looking boy daintily holds a fan in a lush, quilted red space that dissolves into abstract shapes towards the bottom of the canvas. In four bathers by a river (2017), young men in various stages of undress wade into an inky body of water, surrounded by plants.

With their layered imageries, Bas' paintings are the results of extensive research. He is informed by men's fashion magazines and books including Boy Scout manuals and legends of the occult. Ultimately, a long-standing interest in an 'otherworldly and coded history of homosexuality' (as the artist puts it) unites his oeuvre. The series 'Insects from Abroad'—exhibited at Perrotin Tokyo in 2018—was inspired by an 1874 book describing foreign bugs—Bas was struck that the book's poetic and fantastical language was similar to that used to describe dandies in the same century. Similarly, his series 'Bright Young Things'—first exhibited at Lehmann Maupin in 2016—is based on the homoerotic undertones of the aristocrats of 1920s London.

In addition to portraiture, Bas is also known for his byzantine and eerie landscapes. Ubu Roi (the war march) (2009) depicts a fantastical scene replete with ornate castles, stormy cliffs, a rayless river and mysterious marching figures. These heady, dreamlike paintings arise from Bas' interest in the paranormal, a fascination he attributes to mysterious experiences while growing up in suburban Florida.

Bas graduated from the New World School of Arts in Miami in 1996 and later left Cooper Union after one semester. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at Kunstverein Hannover; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; and the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Bas lives and works in Detroit.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018

Featured Artworks

View All (45)
Untitled by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasUntitled, 2018 Oil stick monotype on paper
30.5 x 22.9 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Untitled by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasUntitled, 2018 Oil stick monotype on paper
30.5 x 22.9 cm
Lehmann Maupin
ADAM (Spring cleaning) by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasADAM (Spring cleaning), 2017 Acrylic on linen
127 x 101.6 cm
Victoria Miro
four bathers by a river by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan Basfour bathers by a river, 2017 Acrylic on linen
84 x 72 inches
Lehmann Maupin
Camouflage is not in his favor by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasCamouflage is not in his favor, 2017 Transfer drawing in red, brown and black ink on paper
43 x 36 cm
Perrotin
Private Bouquet (1) by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasPrivate Bouquet (1), 2015 Acrylic, silkscreen, airbrush, coloured pencil chalk and oil pastels on paper
86 x 67 cm
Perrotin
This pink variety is favored as a pet by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasThis pink variety is favored as a pet, 2017 Transfer drawing in brown, black and red ink on paper
43 x 36 cm
Perrotin
A very handsome species with a trademark lure by Hernan Bas contemporary artwork Hernan BasA very handsome species with a trademark lure, 2017 Transfer drawing in red, brown and black ink on paper
43 x 36 cm
Perrotin

Recent Exhibitions

View All (9)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Gallery Highlights at Perrotin, Hong Kong
Closed
21 July–8 September 2018 Group Exhibition Summer Gallery Highlights Perrotin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Hernan Bas, Insects from Abroad at Perrotin, Tokyo
Closed
18 January–11 March 2018 Hernan Bas Insects from Abroad Perrotin, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Hernan Bas, Young Do Jeong, Wild n Out at PKM Gallery, Seoul
Closed
27 October–25 November 2017 Hernan Bas, Young Do Jeong Wild n Out PKM Gallery, Seoul

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Dynamic Busan: More to see than just the sea Ocula Report Dynamic Busan: More to see than just the sea 31 May 2016 : Angela Suh for Ocula

The second largest city in South Korea, with a population of 3.6 million, Busan is a thriving metropolis situated at the south eastern end of the Korean peninsula. As a port city, Busan has a rich history of cultural exchange and is nationally acknowledged for its regional cuisine and diverse scenery. Reflecting its motto, 'Dynamic...

Read More
Rachel Lehmann Ocula Conversation Rachel Lehmann Founding Partner of Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Rachel Lehmann is not only one half of the gallery powerhouse that is Lehmann Maupin, but she is also an international citizen of the world. Lehmann was born in Asmara, Ethiopia, and studied at the University of Fribourg in France. She worked at the legendary Sonnabend Gallery in New York, and was the proprietor of two contemporary galleries in...

Read More

In Related Press

View All (7)
Korean, American artists reveal their pent-up desires in joint show Related Press Korean, American artists reveal their pent-up desires in joint show Yonhap News : 27 October 2017

Two artists exhibit two very different expressive styles — one is figurative and the other is abstract. Somehow, however, there exists quite a surprising similarity between American Hernan Bas and Korean Jeong Young-do when it comes to expressing suppressed desires in their works.

Read More
Hernan Bas at Victoria Miro, London, UK Related Press Hernan Bas at Victoria Miro, London, UK Frieze : 15 September 2017

When the Detroit-based artist Hernan Bas arrived at Jesus College, Cambridge, for a period of research in 2016, he didn't know what 'fresher' meant. The term, familiar to anyone who's been to a British university, is used to describe first-year undergraduates and hints at much of the bravado of student life.

Read More
Hernan Bas on Miami Culture and What Makes Art Gay Related Press Hernan Bas on Miami Culture and What Makes Art Gay Miami New Times : 9 May 2017

Young men's heads bobbing in an ocean heavy with secrets painted on a folding screen. A flock of spoonbills flying by Stiltsville on a triptych. A sculpture of a dead flamingo, doubled over like a macabre midcentury modern table, chained to a metal ball. This is Hernan Bas' 'Florida Living.'

Read More
Hernan Bas on painting aristocratic, queer life in 1920s London Related Press Hernan Bas on painting aristocratic, queer life in 1920s London Hyperallergic : 17 April 2016

Aloof, gay waifs appear as persistently in Hernan Bas’s paintings as saints in a cathedral. While the young men that appear and reappear in his canvases have become somewhat of a trope, Bas’s compositions nonetheless arise from obsessive research and idiosyncratic material experimentation, as well as a seriously funny sense of...

Read More

Be the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Hernan Bas are added to Ocula.

 

{{currentArtwork.ArtistName}}{{currentArtwork.Artist.FullName}}

{{currentArtwork.Title}}

{{currentArtwork.Medium}}{{currentArtwork.Medium && currentArtwork.Medium.substring(currentArtwork.Medium.length -1) != ',' && currentArtwork.Edition ? ',' : ''}} {{currentArtwork.Edition}}


{{currentArtwork.Signature}}


{{currentArtwork.Origin}}

Follow favourite artists and galleries, be notified of new artworks and exhibitions, use our price enquiry service and receive the Ocula newsletter. It's free.

Sign Up
 Sign Up with Facebook
By signing up you accept our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and to
receiving the Ocula e-newsletter. Registration with Ocula is free.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

iCal GoogleYahooOutlook