Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
June 11 - June 30, 2011
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in a German-speaking country with
new works by the American Hernan Bas (born 1978 in Miami, momentarily works and lives in Detroit).
Paintings and drawings of different dimensions (from 244 cm x 275 cm to 30.5 cm x 23 cm) will be on view.
For the first time, Hernan Bas will be presenting two photographic series. One series called A Bunch of Fairies
consists of 13 black-and-white photographs relating to the book The Cottingley Photographs and Their
Sequel by Edward Gardner, published in 1945: Towards the end of World War II, two young girls from
Yorkshire produced a series of photographs in which they can be seen depicted together with fairies. Experts
in the field of photography as well as spiritualists were very excited about finding out how these photographs
had been created. This resulted in a controversial discussion lasting several years. Only on her deathbed did
one of the girls confess that the works had been manipulated. Hernan Bas took his photographs in Ferney, a
magical botanical garden in Detroit, being mainly fascinated by the narrative, the enigmatic and the unspoiled.
In his second photographic series called Plenty Of Fish In The Sea , Bas presents young boys playing in the
sea with self-made shark fins; while diving, only the shark fins are visible and therefore the illusion of being
confronted with real sharks is created. This series, as well, consists of black-and-white photographs. In general,
the artist is interested in playing with schematic conventions such as genre and basic narrative tools.
In this context, he might concentrate on the topic of isolation making use of the forms that are applied to
convey that sentiment in contemporary romance literature and romantic literature of the 18th century. Through
his work with subtle metaphors and historical forms, Hernan Bas manages to express a whole array of ideas
In the large-scale painting The Ornamental Hermit (244 cm x 275 cm), we can recognise a bourgeois country
estate in the background. The foreground shows dead pheasants hanging from the branches and just beside,
a young man is intent on killing another one, to bid farewell while being observed surreptitiously by
another young man (as can be seen on the image on of the invitation card (detail)). In another large-scale
painting called A Satanist On A Sunday , we can see a young man lying on a bed in a richly decorated room
and absorbed in reading a book. It has been a while since Hernan Bas last painted interiors. Especially after
moving from Miami to Detroit in 2009, he was instead fascinated by the northern landscapes he encountered.
Hernan Bas was presented in a grand solo show in the Rubell Family Collection in 2007. In 2009, the exhibition
subsequently travelled to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Bas has been part of several important group
shows such as “The Collectors” in the Nordic Pavillion of Venice Biennial 2009 (curated by Elmgreen &
Dragset), in the KAdE Kunsthal (Amersfort, NL), the 6th Busan Biennial (Busan, KR), the Aspen Art Museum
(Colorado, US), the Haifa Museum of Art (Haifa, IL), the Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art
(Athens, GR), the Saatchi Gallery (London, UK) as well as part of the Whitney Biennial in the Whitney Museum
of American Art (New York, US), the Moore Space (Miami, US) and the Museum of Contemporary Art
(North Miami, US).