The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Drive
Houston, TX 77004
Friday, April 12, 2013
Museums | Sights
Self-described "visionary" artist Forrest Bess (1911-77) is a unique figure in the history of American art. For most of his career, Bess lived an isolated existence in a fishing camp outside of Bay City, Texas, eking out a meager living by selling bait and fishing. By night and during the off-season, however, he read, wrote, and painted prolifically, creating an extraordinary body of mostly small-scale canvases rich with enigmatic symbolism. Despite his isolation, Bess was known to a number of other artists, and in 1949 he met the prominent artist and dealer Betty Parsons. Between 1949 and 1967, Parsons organized six solo exhibitions of his work at her gallery in New York, the undisputed center of the art world at the time.
Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible will present a selection of approximately forty paintings, along with rare works on paper and selected letters by this important but under-recognized artist. The exhibition will also include The Man That Got Away by contemporary American
sculptor Robert Gober, originally created for the 2012 Whitney Biennial. In this room-size
installation, Gober compiles a selection of Bess's paintings and writings, and photographs of the artist as a way to fulfill Bess's long-held desire to present his artwork alongside his thesis.
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