Artwork details

Gouache on canvas
106,7 x 101,6 cm
Math Bass

Courtesy of the artist and Overduin & Co., Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest.


Math Bass is one of several Los Angeles-based artists who have further developed painting with a conceptual approach that is also seen in the works of John Baldessari and Meg Cranston. Bass employs a geometric style, reminiscent of the shapes of modernism, to explore the boundary between figuration and abstraction. The series Newz! is based on a variety of shapes such as the teeth of an alligator, two breasts, a house, a chimney, the letters A and B, a door, an exclamation mark, a cigarette and a phallus. These motifs are abstracted into logo-like shapes and are combined to create puns that elicit constantly new meanings by becoming parts of new combinations. The idiom is extremely reductionist and graphic, and consists of fields of pure colours such as blue, red, green, black and white. The various figures are painted meticulously with gouache, in clearly defined colour fields that contrast with the background of unprimed canvas. The title refers ironically to the artistic struggle to achieve something "new", while also expressing a fascination for all of the new associations evoked by the playful combinations of shape and colour.


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