Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible
Self-described “visionary” artist Forrest Bess (1911–1977) is a unique figure in the history of American art. He eked a meager living fishing and selling bait by day in Bay City Texas, while, in his free time, he read, wrote, and painted prolifically. He created an extraordinary body of mostly small-scale canvases rich with enigmatic symbolism based on symbols he saw in his dreams. Bess drew meaning for these symbols from various disciplines such as medicine, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy, eventually formulating a theory, which he referred to as his “thesis,” that the unification of male and female within one’s body could produce immortality. Despite his remote location, Bess gained recognition in the New York art community, showing his work between 1950 and 1967 with the prominent artist and dealer Betty Parsons. Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisibleis organized by the Menil Collection, curated by Assistant Curator Clare Elliott in collaboration with contemporary artist Robert Gober, expanding on a project he created for the 2012 Whitney Biennial. It will feature a selection of over 40 paintings, along with rare works on paper and selected letters, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. A review in The New York Times is available through this link.
Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible is organized by the Menil Collection, Houston and curated by Menil Collection, Houston, Assistant Curator Clare Elliott.
At the Menil Collection, Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible was realized through the generous support of The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Ann and Henry Hamman; Bérengère Primat; Michael Zilkha; Baker Botts L.L.P.; Bank of America; Peter J. Fluor/K.C. Weiner; Christy and Lou Cushman; and the City of Houston. Support for the exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College, SUNY, is provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and Purchase College Foundation.
check out http://www.forrestbess.org/