29. Math Bass

MATH BASS, NEWZ!, gouache on canvas, 2015. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara ’68 and Theodore ’68 Alfond, 2018.1.1.


Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist Math Bass works in performance, video, painting, installation, and sculpture. She received her BA from Hampshire College, Amherst in 2003 and her MFA from UCLA, Los Angeles in 2011. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, including a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY in 2015. Bass began her practice primarily as a performance artist, creating works that were casual and improvisational. She expanded her practice to include video, which increasingly incorporated an exploration of flatness. Today, she has continued her study in flatness through painting and sculpture. Her super-stylized work, across media, challenges viewers and disrupts traditional viewing experiences.

Newz!, the series she began in 2012, features a visual lexicon of familiar images drawn from everyday life that she arranges in unfamiliar ways to create new landscapes. Math Bass states:

“I approach it as a theater of images. I’ve been developing this vocabulary of symbols for the last almost three years now. It continues to generate new images from symbols that I’ve been working with. My interest in the series [comes from] how these forms operate between being architectural and discrete and bodily and, at points, referencing language or alphabet.”

Her visual vocabulary produces endless opportunities of arrangements and showcases her inventive formal approach. Through her minimalist constructions, Bass plays with positive and negative space, line, and bright colorful forms that open the viewer to her world of abstraction.