This book includes a broad selection of paintings from 1948-1970, representing all four decades that define the “visionary” period for which Forrest Bess has come to be known
Published on the occasion of the first Forrest Bess solo exhibition in the UK, at Stuart Shave/Modern Art.
Accompanying the works is an essay by Professor Mark Turner of King’s College London, on Bess’s life, his theories and art. Frequently relegated to the peripheries of art history, both as a Texas native and a rarely understood queer man, Bess might nevertheless be re-located to the heart of American Modernism.
Between 1949 and 1967 he showed at least five times at Betty Parsons’ New York gallery, on the same walls that debuted Barnett Newman, Richard Tuttle, Ellsworth Kelly and other focal figures of twentieth-century abstraction. Simultaneously he engaged in correspondence with sociologists, psychotherapists, art historians, and even NASA, to communicate a series of radical medico-mystical theories he had devised that were, he believed, of critical import to mankind.