reviews

  • Forrest Bess, untitled, date unknown, oil on canvas, 4 1⁄2 × 6".

    Forrest Bess, untitled, date unknown, oil on canvas, 4 1⁄2 × 6".

    Forrest Bess

    The Ranch

    Even now, more than forty years after his death and some seventy years after his first exhibition at New York’s Betty Parsons Gallery, no one really knows what to make of Forrest Bess. The alluring legend of the visionary fisherman painter from Bay City, Texas, always threatens to overshadow his intense and quite inward art. Consider his Wikipedia entry: The section on “Painting” is barely half the length of the one titled “Surgery”—referring, of course, to his painful efforts toward becoming a pseudo-hermaphrodite, which he hoped would lead to immortality. It would be tempting to put the

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