Knoxville, TN | Painting
Brianna Bass (b. 1990) is a painter from Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a co-founder, curator, and writer for Mineral House Media, an artist-run, web-based platform designed to elevate Southeastern contemporary art through interviews, analyses, podcasts, mini-documentaries, and an online residency program. Brianna received her BFA in Painting and Drawing in 2013 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her academic accomplishments include chairing the Student Advisory Committee and facilitating exhibitions through the Apothecary Gallery Committee. She was awarded the Peggy Stagmire Scholarship and Lillian B. Feinstein Scholarship, for which she was invited to exhibit work at the university’s Cress Gallery II. She has participated in public lectures with Stove Works and Shapeshifter, and has been selected for juried exhibitions at Ground Floor Gallery and SECAC 2019. Her Spring 2020 solo exhibition, On the Hum, opened at Fluorescent Gallery in Knoxville, TN. She is currently developing a body of work for a Fall 2020 solo exhibition at Missouri State University. Writings on Brianna’s work have been featured in Locate Arts and in the PULSE newspaper. She has been selected for Locate Arts’ Tennessee artist registry, and her writing for Mineral House Media has been featured in Number: Inc Magazine, highlighting recent trends in Tennessee art. Brianna will be attending Yale School of Art in pursuit of her MFA in the Fall of 2020.
Painting has the unique property of being simultaneously material and illusory. The spectrum, both object and occurrence, further affords the image the capacity to disappear. The field of color is fused through this process, becoming both surface and void. In displaying their complete spectral manifestations, my paintings act not only as color systems, but as monochromes. The self-completing, algorithmic painting is at once an accumulation of parts and an autonomously emitting whole.
In facilitating unified utterances through full representations of data (the data of light), I investigate communicative structures. My difficulty in hearing the frequencies associated with speech exacerbates my awareness of these processes. In conversation, a congregation of predictive systems work in tandem to assign value to pieces of abstract sound and gesture, constructing a semiotic hierarchy that ultimately delivers the idea. My paintings attempt to emulate these predictive systems by establishing a reliable pattern within the field. From this framework, the aesthetics of incoherence is also amplified. I methodically depart from the established system, aiming to embed varying states of continuity and disarray into my paintings.
In keeping with the examination of color’s relationship to sound, I have also been working to translate sheet music and musical systems into color fields. For these paintings, the chromatic and musical scales are fused at a chosen base (C=Red), and I implement the resulting system of relationships meticulously to explore harmonies and musical shapes as they translate from sound to color. Through this process, I instrumentalize color, playing the music through painting. Though this impersonal system decentralizes the poetic, evocative value of individual colors, it simultaneously may be training my mind toward the synesthetic, expanding the language with which I understand and experience abstract works and the depth of color.