Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Forrest Bess

Forrest Clemenger Bess (1911–1977) was an American painter and fisherman.

Burning Bush

 

He is known for his abstract, symbol-laden paintings based on what he called “visions.”

Matilda

 

Bess made his own frames and worked mostly with dark, brooding pigments, which he sometimes mixed with sand or varnish for texture. 

And All the Things I Have Forgotten

 

Throughout his life as an artist, Bess developed a complex visual vocabulary to accompany his obsessive devotion to beliefs and theories that separated him from society around him. 

Dedication to Van Gogh

 

Bess believed his visions and the resulting paintings came to represent a pictorial language that had universal significance.

Premonition

 

He also he believed his imagery formed a blueprint for an ideal human state, with the potential to relieve mankind of suffering and death.

I Can See Through Myself

 

He is now regarded as a unique visionary, an artist who cannot be grouped with any one school but who belongs to his own vivid, personal vision.

Untitled

 

Bess was formally diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic late in his life. As an alcoholic and increasingly disturbed, he experienced frequent hallucinations, visions that often translated into art.

Seascape With Sun

 

More of Forrest Bess‘s visionary art can be found at http://www.forrestbess.org.