February 15, 2020 – September 6, 2020
Forrest Bess, born in 1911 in Bay City, Texas, where he also died in 1977, led an extremely secluded existence in the first half of the 1940s on the Gulf of Mexico, where alongside catching and selling fishing bait he dedicated himself to painting. During this time, Bess began to systematically encapsulate in painting “visions” that appeared to him on the threshold between wakefulness and sleep. For Bess, subconscious human experiences manifested themselves in these abstract and highly symbolic images. He pursed their exploration like a piece of obsessive research that he articulated in countless records and intensive correspondence without ever unravelling the mystery of his creativity.
The Fridericianum presented the first exhibition in Germany of the artist’s work for over three decades. The show allowed visitors to rediscover this outstanding exponent of postwar art, who is as relevant for contemporary discourse as he is enigmatic.
Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation