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Clare Elliott (The Menil Collection, Houston): “Finally – a Bit of Prophecy.”  The Paintings and Thesis of Forrest Bess” (in English)

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 7 pm

Forrest Bess (1911-1977), a unique figure of American art history, lived an isolated existence in a fishing camp on the Texas Coast. He painted visions that he saw in dream states, creating an abstract vocabulary that was mysterious, even to him. Bess believed that studying the symbols in his paintings would reveal ancient truths. What Bess discovered in his works he combined with theories he found in alchemy, mythology, anthropology, and psychology. Against this background, he developed the obsession to unite male and female within himself in order to become a ”pseudo-hermaphrodite.” Clare Elliott’s lecture “Finally – a Bit of Prophecy,” The Paintings and Thesis of Forrest Bess explores what Bess described as his “thesis”: a written summary of his central thoughts and findings.

Clare Elliott is Associate Research Curator at the Menil Collection, Houston. In 2013 she curated the exhibition Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible, the first retrospective of the artist’s work in more than twenty years.

Admission to the event is free.

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