BIOGRAPHY

A standout figure in the canon of American modernism, Bess is admired for his intimate yet charged symbolic paintings. Referred to by the artist as “visions,” the works constellate his repertoire of signs that forge a secret language at once esoteric and accessible. The small-scale paintings on view in this exhibition demonstrate the recurrence of cosmological icons like stars and runes alongside brusque sexual imagery that recollects Bess’s pioneering engagement with fluid gender identity and representation.