Hernan Bas showed his work at the conclusion of his residency in June 2013.
Bas’s paintings are trapped between our moment and another. His lean, hip male figures are set in romantic scenery, where they gaze pensively off into the distance. These landscapes are constructed through many layers of color and texture, accentuated by lush painterly effects. During his residency at Chinati, Bas was inspired by all of West Texas’s particularities. He immersed himself in the iconography of the American west, drew from the vast landscape, and puzzled over Marfa’s famous mystery lights. Bas made a series of paintings that depicted various unexplained light phenomena. Working closely with a few Marfa locals, he placed young men in fantastical landscapes—from an eerie, moonlit graveyard to a dank swamp, haunted by the will-o’-the-wisp. Bas’s exhibition, Deep in the Dark of Texas, was filled with haze, fog, and the persistent thumping of electronic dance music. At times the paintings themselves were obscured, recovered only as the fog receded, having the viewer feeling as ethereal as the figures in his paintings.
Hernan Bas lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. He is represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York and has exhibited his work at the Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2012); a retrospective at the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2007), which presented a decade of the artist’s work and traveled to the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2008); and was included in the Nordic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.