Walking in Memphis

Florida-born artist Hernan Bas is looking to the Memphis Group for his new solo show, taking the influential post-modern designers’ ideas as the setting for a series of paintings and works on paper.

Hernan Bas The 2014 Mr. General Idea Pageant, 2014
Hernan Bas
The 2014 Mr. General Idea Pageant, 2014

The exhibition, entitled Memphis Living, opens at London’s Victoria Miro gallery this weekend, and sees Bas exploring the designs that he says formed a backdrop for his youth.

Hernan Bas Memphis Living (running out of room), 2014
Hernan Bas
Memphis Living (running out of room), 2014

‘Bas first encountered [the Memphis Group] predominantly through its pop cultural references and simulations, and only later recognised it as an aesthetic movement’, says Victoria Miro Gallery.

‘Memphis style became firmly rooted in Bas’ pre-teenage sub consciousness, attesting to the prevalence of the “Memphis look” on the big and small screen in films like Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice or kid’s TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse.’

Hernan Bas Memphis Living (design panic), 2014
Hernan Bas
Memphis Living (design panic), 2014

The paintings shown at Memphis Living show their subjects in a very Memphis Group-shaped world, surrounded by the bold colours and sculptural forms that exemplified its aesthetic.

Hernan Bas Memphis Living (first chair, last chair), 2014
Hernan Bas
Memphis Living (first chair, last chair), 2014

‘In my opinion, living ‘Memphis’ means more than a love of bright colours, pattern and uncomfortable seating’, says Bas.

‘It was an impassioned moment, now quietly spoken…. I hope it will be finally recognized as a daring, bold-formed and wildly influential moment/movement that is just catching our rear-view attention again’.

Hernan Bas, Memphis Living, runs from 26 April – 31 May at Victoria Miro,16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW & Victoria Miro Mayfair, 14 St George Street, London W1S 1FE

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