Hernan Bas TIME LIFE

7 November 2019 – 4 January 2020

Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.


Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce TIME LIFE, Hernan Bas’ fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. This exhibition will include seven large-scale paintings and one decorative room screen that feature a series of strange and seemingly obscure (or possibly forgotten) moments that have influenced American culture. This body of work illustrates Bas’ innate ability to highlight cult phenomena from the past that offer insight into the political and social concerns of today. Rather than focusing on a singular subject matter, as Bas has done previously, this series spans time periods and themes, providing a unique perspective on American subculture and a contemporary version of History Painting, which traditionally depicts a particular moment within a narrative.


Bas is best known for his narrative paintings that weave together adolescent adventures and the paranormal with classical poetry, religious stories, mythology, and literature. His subjects are often young men, typically in the transitional moment between boyhood and manhood. While the young male figure remains prominent in this body of work, each individual painting becomes an in-depth investigation into a singular critical subject, addressing topics such as LGBTQIA+ activism and desire, politics, news, conspiracy theories, and the occult. The title of the exhibition, TIME LIFE, is inspired by the Time-Life Book series Mysteries of the Unknown. Published between 1987 and 1991, each book focused on a different paranormal topic, such as ghosts, UFOs, psychic powers, and dreams. For TIME LIFE, Bas has similarly produced a series of paintings, each focused on a singular topic, that navigate the boundaries between pop culture and history, fiction and reality, and the artist’s personal interests and curiosities.

Hernan Bas, The Sip In, 2019


Hernan Bas (b. 1978 in Miami, lives and works in Detroit and Miami) has had solo exhibitions at the Centro De Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga, Spain (2018); Colby College Art Museum, Waterville, ME (2018); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2017); Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL (2013); and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (2007). Bas has participated in a number of important group exhibitions, including Them, Perrotin, New York, NY (2019); Wild n Out, PKM Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2017); Future Seasons Past, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY (2015); The Collectors, curated by Elmgreen & Dragset for the Nordic and Danish Pavilions at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); Triumph of Painting: Part III, Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2005); Ideal Worlds – New Romanticism in Contemporary Art, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2005); and the Whitney Biennial (2004). His work is part of the permanent collections of New York’s Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art; as well as the Detroit Institute of Arts; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.


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