Hernan Bas - Mephistopheles at 17, 2007
27 February 2007
Youth gets away with everything. Forgiven for childish pranks and nastiness – even when hell-bent on evil – in exchange for the spectacle of innocence or inexperience. In Hernan Bas’ teen necropolis, Mephistopheles at 17, his first exhibition in Australia, the young painter from Miami mixes his signature morbid palette of oil paint and bitumen-like effects with goth-decadent and gamy narratives in a series of nineteen intimately-scaled paintings. Mephistopheles, the young demi-diabolical anaemic rogue and antihero of the story, is architect to and victim of ennui-swept landscapes, haunted antique interiors and richly encrusted paint surfaces. Scenarios are concocted in which we discover our boy in a solitary moment or are witnesses to the melancholic ruins of his absence. Bas’ Mephistopheles commits the petty crimes of his legacy, exercising the props of devilry in various rites of passage: penning blackmail, releasing bats, nurturing weeds, imbibing drink, cloaking in velvet and colluding with ghosts and skeletons. Much of his business is transacted via the medium of reading and writing, literary channels conveying the decadent workings of an occult leisure time and the potential for obscure sexual adventure.
Hernan Bas (b. 1978) has in recent years become one of the most sought after young painters in the US, UK and Europe. Exhibiting since 1997, major group exhibitions include Dangerous Beauty, Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2007), The Triumph of Painting - Part 5, Saatchi Gallery, London (2005), Ideal Worlds - New Romanticism in Contemporary Art Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2005) and The Whitney Biennial, New York (2004). In 2002, the MCA, North Miami held a solo exhibition of Bas’ work entitled It’s Super Natural. His work is held in many major public and private collections in the US, UK and Europe, including MoCA Geffen, Los Angeles, the Saatchi Collection, London and the Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens. Bas has been the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships including the Rema Hort Foundation Grant, New York (2002) and the Dean’s Fellowship, Columbia University, New York (2001). Mephistopheles at 17 will be Hernan Bas’ first exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and his first exhibition in Australia.
Exhibition opening: Friday 2 March,
Exhibition dates: 2 March –
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday , Saturday