Skip to content
Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid, then forgotten, 1973 / 2023

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid, then forgotten, 1973 / 2023

Oil stick, tripod, clamp-on lamp, flower, vase

Dimensions variable

Unique

BJA_046

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid, then forgotten, 1973 / 2023

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid, then forgotten, 1973 / 2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, Thoughts unsaid...

Bas Jan Ader

Thoughts unsaid...

2023

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader Self portrait 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Oil on canvas

24 x 18 in /61 x 45.7 cm canvas size
24 5/8 x 18 ¾ in / 62.6 x 47.6 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 24 5/8 x 18 ¾ x 1 1/4 / 62.6 x 47.6 x 3.2 cm original frame
27 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/8 in outer frame

BJA_092

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Oil on canvas

24 x 18 in /61 x 45.7 cm canvas size
24 5/8 x 18 ¾ in / 62.6 x 47.6 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 24 5/8 x 18 ¾ x 1 1/4 / 62.6 x 47.6 x 3.2 cm original frame
27 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/8 in outer frame

BJA_092

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Oil on canvas

24 x 18 in /61 x 45.7 cm canvas size
24 5/8 x 18 ¾ in / 62.6 x 47.6 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 24 5/8 x 18 ¾ x 1 1/4 / 62.6 x 47.6 x 3.2 cm original frame
27 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/8 in outer frame

BJA_092

Detail view

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Oil on canvas

24 x 18 in /61 x 45.7 cm canvas size
24 5/8 x 18 ¾ in / 62.6 x 47.6 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 24 5/8 x 18 ¾ x 1 1/4 / 62.6 x 47.6 x 3.2 cm original frame
27 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/8 in outer frame

BJA_092

Detail view

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Self-portrait), 1967

Oil on canvas

24 x 18 in /61 x 45.7 cm canvas size
24 5/8 x 18 ¾ in / 62.6 x 47.6 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 24 5/8 x 18 ¾ x 1 1/4 / 62.6 x 47.6 x 3.2 cm original frame
27 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/8 in outer frame

BJA_092

Detail view

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Still Life), 1964

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Still Life), 1964

Oil on canvas

30 x 25 x ¾ in / 76.2 x 63.5 x 1.9 cm
32 ¾ x 21 ¼ x 2 1/8 in / 83.2 x 54 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 32 ¾ x 21 ¼ x 2 1/8 in / 83.2 x 54 x 5.4 cm

BJA_094

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Still Life), 1964

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Still Life), 1964

Oil on canvas

30 x 25 x ¾ in / 76.2 x 63.5 x 1.9 cm
32 ¾ x 21 ¼ x 2 1/8 in / 83.2 x 54 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 32 ¾ x 21 ¼ x 2 1/8 in / 83.2 x 54 x 5.4 cm

BJA_094

Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

 

Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

Detail view of Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

Detail view

Detail view of Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

Detail view

Detail view of Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

Detail view

Detail view of Bas Jan Ader Landscape 1963

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Landscape), 1963

Oil and sand on board

25 5/8 x 37 1/8 in / 65.1 x 94.3 cm
27 ½ x 39 ½ x 2 1/8 in / 72.4 x 100.3 x 5.4 cm framed

BJA_091

Detail view

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, c.1968

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, c.1968

Collage serigraph on paper

23 x 19 1/2 in / 59.7 x 48.3 cm paper size
28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_099

Bas Jan Ader collaged serigraph orange and blue

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, c.1968

Collage serigraph on paper

23 x 19 1/2 in / 59.7 x 48.3 cm paper size
28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_099

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1968

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1968

Serigraph on paper

23 x 19 in / 58.4 x 48.3 cm paper size
28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_098

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1968

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1968

Serigraph on paper

23 x 19 in / 58.4 x 48.3 cm paper size
28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 28 x 23 x 2 1/8 in / 71.1 x 58.4 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_098

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1966

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1966

Acrylic and graphite on paper

16 x 13 1/2 in / 41.9 x 34.3 cm paper and matte
20 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 2 1/8 in / 52.1 x 44.5 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 20 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 2 1/8 in / 52.1 x 44.5 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_097

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1966

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1966

Acrylic and graphite on paper

16 x 13 1/2 in / 41.9 x 34.3 cm paper and matte
20 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 2 1/8 in / 52.1 x 44.5 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 20 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 2 1/8 in / 52.1 x 44.5 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Unique

BJA_097

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1964

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1964

Offset lithography on paper

22 x 27 in / 55.9 x 68.6 cm paper and matte
26 x 31 x 2 1/8 in / 66 x 78.8 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 26h x 31w x 2 1/8d in

Unique

BJA_095

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled, 1964

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled, 1964

Offset lithography on paper

22 x 27 in / 55.9 x 68.6 cm paper and matte
26 x 31 x 2 1/8 in / 66 x 78.8 x 5.4 cm (framed)

Framed: 26h x 31w x 2 1/8d in

Unique

BJA_095

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Westkapelle, Holland), 1971/ 2003

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Westkapelle, Holland), 1971/ 2003

Two Color C-type prints

2 parts: 16 x 16 in each / 40.6 x 40.6 cm each

Edition of 3

BJA_010.1

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Tea party), 1972

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Tea party), 1972

Black and white 16mm film, silent

Duration: 1'52"

Edition of 3

BJA_066.1

Bas Jan Ader, Study for Westkapelle Lighthouse, Holland, 1971

Bas Jan Ader

Study for Westkapelle Lighthouse, Holland, 1971

Vintage color photographic print

3 ½ x 3 ½ in / 8.9 x 8.9 cm

Unique

BJA_061

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (The elements), 1971/ 2003

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (The elements), 1971/ 2003

Color C-type print

11 x 14 in / 27.9 x 35.6 cm paper size

Framed: 11 3/8 x 14 ½ x ½ in / 28.9 x 36.8 x 1.3 cm

Edition of 3

BJA_003

Bas Jan Ader, Untitled (Swedish fall), 1971/ 2003

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Swedish fall), 1971/ 2003

Two Color C-type prints

Two parts: 16 x 16 in / 40.6 x 40.6 image size, each image

Edition of 3

BJA_008

Installation view of Bas Jan Ader Untitled (Swedish fall), 1971 / 2003

Bas Jan Ader

Untitled (Swedish fall), 1971/ 2003

Two Color C-type prints

Two parts: 16 x 16 in / 40.6 x 40.6 image size, each image

Edition of 3

BJA_008

Bas Jan Ader, Study for Farewell to faraway friends, 1971

Bas Jan Ader

Study for Farewell to faraway friends, 1971

Set of two color vintage prints

2 parts
3 ½ x 3 ½ in / 8.9 x 8.9 cm image size each part
9 x 8 ¾ x 1 ¾ in / 22.9 x 22.3 x 4.5 cm framed dimensions each part

Framed: 9 x 8 ¾ x 1 ¾ in / 22.9 x 22.3 x 4.5 cm framed dimensions each part

Unique

BJA_078

Bas Jan Ader, Broken fall (organic), Amsterdamse Bos, Holland, 1971/94

Bas Jan Ader

Broken fall (organic), Amsterdamse Bos, Holland, 1971/94

Silver gelatin print

18 x 25 in / 45.7 x 63.5 cm image size
29 ½ x 36 x 1 ½ in / 74.9 x 91.4 x 3.8 cm framed dimensions

Framed: 29 ½ x 36 x 1 ½ in / 74.9 x 91.4 x 3.8 cm (framed)

Edition of 3

BJA_011

Bas Jan Ader, Implosion / The artist contemplating the forces of nature, 1967

Bas Jan Ader

Implosion / The artist contemplating the forces of nature, 1967

Offset lithography on paper

16 3/4 x 10 3/4 in / 42.6 x 27.3 cm

BJA_007

Bas Jan Ader, I'm too sad to tell you, 1971

Bas Jan Ader

I'm too sad to tell you, 1971

Black and white 16mm film, silent

Duration: 3'18"

Edition of 3

BJA_041

Bas Jan Ader, I'm too sad to tell you

Bas Jan Ader

I'm too sad to tell you

1971

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Bas Jan Ader, The artist as consumer of extreme comfort, 1968/ 2003

Bas Jan Ader

The artist as consumer of extreme comfort, 1968/ 2003

Silver gelatin print

13 ¼ x 19 in / 33.7 x 48.3 cm

Edition of 3

BJA_002

Bas Jan Ader, Vitrine presentation of ephemeral material

Bas Jan Ader

Vitrine presentation of ephemeral material

Installation view at 150 Manufacturing Street

Portrait of Bas Jan Ader, Claremont, California, 1967

Portrait of Bas Jan Ader, Claremont, California

1967

© The Estate of Bas Jan Ader / Mary Sue Ader Andersen, 2023 / The Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Press Release

Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs are pleased to present Bas Jan Ader: Thoughts unsaid… the inaugural exhibition in the gallery’s new Dallas location. Curated by artist and Dallas native David Quadrini, the exhibition brings together Ader’s installations, films, photo works and ephemera, as well as a selection of early, never before seen paintings and works on paper.

 

Around the theme of the landscape, the physical, external world and the interior, psychological realm, the landscape of the mind, the works are re-contextualized to give new insight into the artist’s practice.

 

The landscape is both the physical site of many of Ader’s works exhibited, as well as a metaphor for emotional states. The influence of the philosophical thought of Wittgenstein, Camus and Kierkegaard, concepts such as determinism, free will and the absurdity of human existence, and the expression of emotional states such as loss, sadness, longing and forgetting, come to the fore and are made concrete in Ader’s works. 

 

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the 1973 installation Thoughts unsaid then forgotten, first exhibited at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, a hotbed of Conceptual art in the early 1970s. Melancholy and poetic, deploying text, light and sculptural, durational elements, specifically a vase containing cut flowers that slowly decay over the course of the exhibition, the work emphasizes many of the above themes. This presentation will be the first time that this work has been installed according to the artist’s original hand written instructions.

 

Another key work in the exhibition, Untitled (Swedish fall), 1971, one of the artist’s most tragic and poignant works, is a two-part photo piece embodying the internal and the external. One part depicts Ader in a pine forest standing next to a tree and the other, the artist in a prone position next to several felled trees. Ader’s father, a minister who provided safe haven for the Jewish community, was executed in a forest as a collaborator by the Nazis during World War II.  Although Ader was only two years old at the time, this event certainly had a profound impact on his psyche growing up. Here, the comical aspect of earlier Fall works is missing. Without being overly anecdotal, the Fall in this work is emphasized as tragic and absolute. With this in mind, the striking landscape, and the artist’s position within it, has an ominous specter looming over it and takes on an atmosphere of pain, loss and fatality.

Romantic notions of the Sublime run through many of the works in the exhibition, where powerful emotions, both awe and dread, engendered by the landscape, are internalized on a personal, emotional and subjective level, unable to be easily expressed or comprehended in purely rational terms.

 

A selection of never before seen early works of Ader’s, including paintings and works on paper are also featured. The works show the artist’s creative trajectory and the transition from Modernist stylistic influences, such as the CoBrA group, de Kooning and Pop Art, towards his confident embrace of the new conceptual approach to art making that was coming to the fore in the late 1960s and of which Ader was a seminal part.

 

Bas Jan Ader  (b. 1942 Winschoten, Holland - 1975 missing at sea) is a key artist of his generation, his work fusing European and Californian conceptual positions. Major solo exhibitions include shows at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Kunsthalle Basel, the Camden Art Center, London, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea / CGAC, Santiago Compostela, Spain and the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna / MAMBO, Italy as well as the Venice and São Paolo Biennials in 2017 and 2012 respectively. Recently his installation Light vulnerable objects threatened by eight cement bricks, 1970 was presented for the first time in Europe at Verein By Association in Zurich, former documenta curator Adam Szymczyk’s new Kunstverein, and in 2019 his work was featured in a major three-person exhibition at The Modern Fort Worth, Disappearing - California c.1970 Ader, Burden and Goldstein (catalog available).

 

Recently Ader’s work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Barbican Art Gallery, London, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux, France, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, the Hamburger Kunsthalle,  Hamburg and the National Gallery of Australia among many others.

 

Ader’s work is in important institutional collections worldwide, including in the US, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

For further information, please contact the gallery.

 

All photos: © The Estate of Bas Jan Ader / Mary Sue Ader Andersen, 2023 / The Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. All rights reserved. No reproduction without prior written permission of the gallery. Photo credits: Todora Photography LLC and Evan Bedford.