Hernan Bas at Lehmann Maupin

I wasn’t familiar with Hernan Bas and his earlier paintings of homosexual boys posing in acts of removal and exposure reeking in romantic dandyism. I think this was to my advantage as the new series emphasize crazed landscapes and mixed references and received mixed responses from a nostalgia for his earlier style to generic comparisons to uncharacteristic formal descriptions. I do love c-monster’s review deeming it a damn interesting show.

Picture 2Ubu Roi (the war march), 2009, acrylic on linen over panel, diptych, 84 x 144 in

I was waiting for a friend to meet me at the gallery giving me the opportunity to squint and glare at each piece with more time than usually allotted when strolling through a day long gallery marathon. I’ve concluded no matter how much time you spend with these paintings you will never grasp its grandiosity not just in terms scale but in its eluding to past styles and movements and artists, incorporating Monet, Futurism, Surrealism, fantasy narratives and dreams into a single overwhelmingly conglomerative canvas. My eyes were constantly reverting and spastically experiencing the scratchy colors, the jagged disruptive strokes and the procession of odd figures sulking, prancing, acting, engulfed in these landscapes of pseudo-abstract, pseudo-architectural, pseudo-modernist, pseudo-neo-expressionist paintings.

Picture 1Colored Plastic Complex of Noise + Dance + Joy, 2009, acrylic on linen over panel, 72 x 60 in

Colored Plastic Complex of Noise + Dance + Joy best represents this new series where figures encounter either physical or internal restrictions, in this case a procession of figures hesitantly cascade down a zig zaggy rock mountain accompanied by a futurist modernist structure that is grounded to the setting with jagged sharp edges cutting through the field. The tension between humans, nature, and structure varies in intensity where one overpower another in any painting. Here I’d like to think they are sharing a balanced relationship and its title suggests a raucous exploration of nether regions.

I wish my experience with these paintings were fresh in my mind, it’s been a few weeks and I feel like I’ve lost the sense of being lost within the works and now its just irritating trying to hopelessly recall each scathing section and the resulting subliminal awe it ensues.

Images via Lehmann Maupin site, show runs July 10th. You can also find a retrospective at Brooklyn Museum from the Rubell Collection. I will probably miss this show as I have little interest in viewing a collection within a museum setting. I just think it’s wrong.


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