I-20 is pleased to open the fall season with an exhibition of Ronnie Bass. This will be the artist’s first solo show. Entitled 2012, the show comprises sculpture, oil paintings and two videos.

Bass’s videos tell stories of success acquired through perseverance, hope and ingenuity, often underscored by issues of friendship and family, social mobility and the cultural effects of new technology. The artist composes and performs original music to accompany each work: minimal, synth-laden songs lend his narratives their circular, dreamlike quality.

The video in the main gallery, The Sky Needs You Too (2008), depicts a mini-concert, in which a group of characters celebrate the beginning of a new and more promising future.  A prelude to this video, 2012 (2008), occupies the front gallery and follows its protagonist’s escape from the dark and reunification with two others in need of his help.

Also in the front gallery, or the Commemoration Room, Bass installs two portrait paintings.  Like the videos, these works serve to chart the trajectory of its subject from youthful struggle to unusual success.  Jeremy Eilers (2008) depicts this 70character as a worker, while Jeremy Eilers New (2008) finds him in an afterlife-like place, seemingly in contemplation of the change that his passing has brought to the world.  A third canvas bears an inkjet print in which this character has suffered a workplace accident caused by a dough machine. An arm from the machine was later removed and used as a theremin by the artist in The Sky Needs You Too – acting at once as a reminder of past oppression and a tool of progress.

Ronnie Bass was born in Hurst, Texas in 1976. He received his BFA at the University of North Texas and his MFA at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Upcoming group shows include Ei Arakawa; Kiss the Canvas, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2008), and Yes, AR/Contemporary Gallery, Milan (2008).  Other shows include Artist’s Cinema: Our Land is Our Land, with Ronnie Bass,” Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2007); Performa 07, The Second Biennial of New Visual Art Performance, New York (2007); Carte Blanche, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York (2007); Salad Days – Second Course, Artists Space, New York (2006); North Drive Press – The Movie, The Kitchen, New York (2006); The Manhattan Project, Frederic Snitzer Gallery, Miami; and Greater New York 2005, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City.

Bass’s compositions include the musical score for Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Hugo Boss Prize exhibition, Tomorrow is Another Fine Day, at the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the music for When You See Me Again It Won’t Be Me, in collaboration with David Rhodes and Nic Xedro, which was performed at Smith-Stewart, New York.