Galerie Kornfeld is pleased to present the first exhibition of new and recent work by British artist Samuel Bassett in Germany.
Developing a distinctive voice by diving head first into auto-biography, Bassett's works catalogue his day to day life with honesty, humour and pathos. This auto-biographic approach to painting leads Bassett to work in a figurative manner, making the figures in his painting an allegory to his life. Further themes in Bassett's art are of boats and fisherman as a reference to the traditions of his home town, St. Ives, as well as to his family background, and to contemporary leisure life. Questions about how our world is changing and how we place ourselves in-between the past and the future are raised.
Often in Bassett’s paintings, a central figure is depicted as interacting with another sort of matter, this may be: paint, another figure or an abstract shape. This “matter” creates a material connection to “abstraction” which introduces paint as a subject in these paintings. Flat painted shapes edit and lay down spatial relationships in Bassett's work. Flat planes of colour spatially create distinctions between the reality of the figures and of the backgrounds that his figures struggle to emerge from. Hidden in layers of paint in the backgrounds of Bassett's surfaces are familial figures, 'haunting' the memories and realities of the scenes depicted.
Formally, the works pull their figurative subjects into a sea of marks and abstracted gestures, referencing the kind of bravado of Abstract Expressionist painters like Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg. And indeed, with a similar commitment of expressions of profound emotion, writer William Cook remarks on Bassett: “He speaks from the heart about the things that move and trouble him, He paints the language of dreams and memory. His paintings describe his hopes and fears. His work is … about the way he feels about the world.”
Born in 1982 in Cornwall, UK., the artist studied in Bournemouth, UK, lived in London for a short time but relocated to his home town of St. Ives to focus on his art. In St. Ives he continues to work in the prestigious Porthmeor Studios, that are above his Grandfather’s former net loft. The studios were previously occupied by Francis Bacon, Ben Nicholson and Patrick Heron among others who formed the St.Ives Modernists.
St. Ives has been his family’s home since 1695. His painterly development has been greatly influenced by the artistic traditions of the town influencing his work stylistically and thematically. Furthermore, his family, fisherman by trade and artists at heart, act as both physical and emotional support to the artist.
Bassett's work is widely exhibited with a solo presentation at START at the Saatchi Gallery in London, in group shows at the Falmouth Art Gallery and the Newlyn Exchange Museum (both UK) and three solo exhibitions at Anima-Mundi in St. Ives. Samuel Bassett's works are held in collections around the world including the Tremenheere Sculpture Park where his work is permanently installed amongst other luminaries such as: James Turell, Kishio Suga, Richard Long and David Nash. Bassett's work has been featured in numerous publications including Christie’s Magazine and The New York Post.
After successfully presenting the artist at Code Art Fair in Copenhagen earlier this year, Samuel Bassett will be shown with Galerie Kornfeld at the Untitled Art Fair in Miami.