Math Bass
My Dear Dear Letter

Curated by Piper Marshall
26 April to 27 July 2018
745 Fifth Avenue

On 26 April 2018, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location My Dear Dear Letter, an exhibition curated by Piper Marshall of new paintings by MATH BASS.

My Dear Dear Letter presents a recent entry to Math Bass’s ongoing “Newz!” paintings, adding to the artist’s evolving formal vocabulary. Bass’s entries emerge through a process of excision. A contour traced from a pre-existing shape is then abstracted away. In this case, nothing is ripped or destroyed, rather the form yields another through its re-orientation, comparable to how N when rotated can appear as Z, and E could be flipped to read as W. Similarly, Bass’s work explores the contour of a shape through repetition, often within one composition. What follows is a sequence whose legibility asks to be read as mutable, or as toward multiple.

In this exhibition, Bass builds in shifts of focus, altering the image by scaling up the field on which it rests. This grammar comes in part from the movement between positive and negative space which appears to contract and expand. This process could be likened to tonality, how the character of a piece is determined by its relations. The play carries over to four columnar sculptures in the exhibition. Half object, half sculpture, these works emit a repetitive soundtrack playing a sequence which names the shapes that appear in the paintings, resonating with the entire show. With each iteration of the chant, meaning both affirms and loosens. This reinforces the idea of Bass’s works as performative. Here, the visual and audible hold space and meaning accumulates through repetition, changing our perspectives.

Math Bass (b. 1981, New York), lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a B.A. from Hampshire College, Amherst, in 2003, and an M.F.A. from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2011. Bass began her career primarily as a performance artist, but has since expanded her practice to include painting, sculpture, and video. In 2015, MoMA PS1 presented the inaugural solo museum exhibition of Math Bass in the United States. In 2017, the Yuz Museum in Shanghai hosted her first solo exhibition in China. Bass’s work has been written about in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, ArtReview, Frieze, Modern Painters, X-TRA, and The Uncertain States of America Reader, published by Sternberg Press in 2008.

The Mary Boone Gallery exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, is on view through 27 July 2018. For further information, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website