The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, June 16, 2019

Metro Pictures opens exhibition of works by Bas Jan Ader
Bas Jan Ader. Installation view, 2016. Metro Pictures, New York. Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

NEW YORK, NY.- Metro Pictures opened an exhibition of photographs, films, and installation works by the renowned Dutch / Los Angeles artist Bas Jan Ader on Tuesday, June 21. Included are complete sets of the original photographs Ader made for his book “Fall I and II,” which were subsequently shown in his first exhibitions. Exhibited for the first time are photographic studies for other important works made in the early 1970s.

Ader’s well-documented story is so compelling that his poignant art is fused into the narrative of his history. In 1963 Ader moved from Amsterdam to Los Angeles where he was associated with a group of artists whose work would define an important strain of conceptual art distinct to the West Coast. There he produced a small but extraordinarily affecting body of artworks prior to 1975, when he disappeared at sea while sailing the Atlantic alone as the second part of his trilogy “In Search of the Miraculous.” The first part, included in the exhibition, comprises 18 black-and-white photographs of the artist walking through Los Angeles at night. The third part was to be an exhibition at the Groeningen Museum after arriving in Europe.

Bas Jan Ader’s art had the same effect, beauty and pathos when it was exhibited more than 40 years ago, without knowing his family history or the dramatic and mysterious circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

At the time Ader was working there was little awareness of the parallel between his art and his haunting family history. Later his work was revealed to be unexpectedly autobiographical, and sometimes abstractly illustrative of the factual and emotional narrative that governed his life. In the dual slide projection “Untitled (Swedish Fall)” Ader stands straight and thin amid a forest of similarly tall trees in one image, and in the second he lies collapsed on the ground in the same wooded scene with fallen trees lying around him. When Ader was 2 years old his father, a celebrated member of the resistance during Nazi occupation, was captured, imprisoned and later taken to the woods where he and six other prisoners were shot, and their bodies left on the ground as an example to the townspeople.

The power of Ader’s narrative explains the potency of his statement and imbues his elegant and painfully beautiful work with seriousness. Merging a conceptual framework with an aspect of Hollywood film romance, mystery and slapstick humor, his themes of sailing, the sea, falling, drowning, failing, gravity, doom, form a singular position that has never been so beautifully and courageously attempted. Ader intended his works to propose philosophical concerns like the notion of free will, which is explored in the films and performances in which falling, metaphorically and physically, is depicted in both inanimate objects and the artist’s own body. Referring to “Fall I and II,” Ader said, “… When I fell off the roof of my house or into a canal, it was because gravity made itself master over me.”

Bas Jan Ader’s work was first shown in the United States in a three-person exhibition organized by Metro Pictures’ Helene Winer at the Pomona College of Art Museum in 1972. München Kunstverein, Munich organized a major exhibition in 2000 that travelled to Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn and Kunstverein Braunschweig in Germany. Additionally, his work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions that include Camden Arts Center, London; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Portikus, Frankfurt and Kunsthalle Basel. The films have been screened in festivals and exhibitions in recent years.

A comprehensive volume covering Ader’s life and work, titled “Death is Elsewhere” by art historian Alexander Dumbadze was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2013.

Today's News

June 27, 2016

Works by Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh on view at Scottish National Gallery

Master of street fashion photography Bill Cunningham dead at 87

Never before been seen collection exhibited in Lausanne

200,000 Rijksmuseum Works of Art to See via Google

Center for Maine Contemporary Art opens new building in Rockland, Maine

Sheldon Museum of Art acquires recent paintings by Bordo, Grabner, and Whitney

Exhibition at Mart Rovereto illustrates the origins and development of Divisionism

Lan Zhenghui brings new meaning to "east-meets-west" for 2016

Rocky future for Somalia's ancient cave art

Dreamers and Realists: Group exhibition opens at Ruiz-Healy Art

Three glass exhibitions open this summer at the Crocker

New exhibition by British artist Richard Woods on view at Friedman Benda

Santa Cruz Museum in Toledo exhibits works by Miguel Herrero

Kahmann Gallery opens Young Talents 2015 exhibition

Metro Pictures opens exhibition of works by Bas Jan Ader

Prince guitar, Bowie's hair sold for more than $150k

Shaker Museum / Mount Lebanon awarded major grant to make collection available online

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions announces sale of Fine Jewellery, Watches, Silver and Objects of Vertu

FACT announces technology leader Rachel Higham as new Chair

Mark Moore Gallery opens solo show of recent works by New York based artist Ben Charles Weiner

Fridman Gallery opens first solo gallery exhibition by cross-discliplinary artist Matana Roberts

Janaina Tschäpe's sixth exhibition in Sao Paulo on view at Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Don Presley auction July 9-10 features single-owner art collection

Exhibition at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art features an array of talented circus personalities

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Art of early man found in the greatest meteor crater on earth

2.- Exhibition celebrates Helmut Newton's 50-year career through a rare and unseen collection of vintage prints

3.- World's most costly painting on Saudi prince's yacht: report

4.- Sotheby's celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing with an auction

5.- Domaine de Chantilly exhibits Leonardo da Vinci's 'Nude Mona Lisa'

6.- New book offers front-row seat to greatest concert in history

7.- The New York Botanical Garden opens its largest botanical exhibition ever

8.- The most famous car in the world: RM Sotheby's presents James Bond Aston Martin DB5

9.- Mexico unearths what may be historic recording of Frida Kahlo

10.- Exhibition of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's paintings marks centenary of his death

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful