That the artist is both in and out of the painting is made metaphorical in her work Ink Wigs, an ink drawing of the corner of a room hung with wigs of various shades. Each wig implies a potential act of personal transformation, described in lively and energetic paint; and yet there’s an unmistakable air of being ignored, and the wigs become the heads of people passing us by. In The Audience, we see rows of glossy and conditioned women’s hairstyles facing towards a stage or screen that we can’t see; Bassens’ brush lingers on the feathery cascades of hair, but the mystery of the painting remains unsolved. The heads’ positions imitate the act of looking at the painting itself, but unlike these curiously transfixed spectators, we’re denied the exposition we crave.

Text by Ben street

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