Hernan Bas (b. 1978, Miami, FL, lives and works in Detroit, MI and Miami, FL) creates paintings, works on paper, videos, and installations that weave together adolescent adventures with classical poetry, religious stories, mythology, the paranormal, and literature. Influenced by the Romantic era of the 18th century that glorified the sublime beauty of nature and the Decadent movement of the 19th century that evoked romantic nihilism, skepticism, excess, and artificiality, Bas’ early work often portrayed nearly hidden adolescent male figures, deep in contemplation amidst vast otherworldly landscapes. As the figure and the interiors they occupied became more and more prominent throughout Bas’ work, so did the social and cultural context within which they were living. Spanning a wide range of time periods and themes, Bas investigates inquisition, desire, and obsessions and invites the viewer to recognize their own curiosities and oddities.
Bas’ work is in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; Saatchi Collection, London, United Kingdom; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA.