At SUNY Purchase, 735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
Description: 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 Invisible" is 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. At the Neuberger Museum the exhibition is organized by Chief Curator Tracy Fitzpatrick.
Through May 14.
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