KHFA exhibition archives

The Visionaries

Forrest Bess, Bert L. Long, Jr., Chris Martin
September 1-October 1, 2022
Gallery open noon to 5:00 pm on opening day

Film showing
On September 1 at 7:00 pm, please join us for a lecture, "Signs, Symbols, & Stories: A Deeper Look at the Art and Life of Forrest Bess," and screening of Forrest Bess: Key to the Riddle with filmmaker Chuck Smith.

Kirk Hopper Fine Art is honored to present The Visionaries, featuring newly discovered works by Forrest Bess, as well as favorites by Bert L. Long, Jr., and Chris Martin.

Forrest Bess, Untitled, n.d., oil on canvas, 9" x 11"

Forrest Clemenger Bess (1911-1977) was a bait fisherman and self taught artist who was considered somewhat of a small town eccentric. A self-described visionary artist, Bess painted his subconscious, and his small abstract paintings are filled with his vivid, personal visions. Bess's work is included in many private and public collections including the Menil Collection, Houston; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Bert L. Long, Jr., Heritage, 1995, acrylic on white pine, bird cadaver, and frame of white pine with charcoal drawings, 19" x 17" x 2"

Bert L. Long, Jr. (1940-2013) was a chef and self taught artist. Long gained national and international recognition for his thought provoking art. Long described the philosophy behind his work as "a quest to help people diagnose their inner self" and believed his art to be "the vehicle to help facilitate the process." Bert Long Jr.'s work can be seen in over 100 private and public collections worldwide including Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Bell Telephone, Houston; Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii; and Groupo Larios, Spain.

Chris Martin (b. 1954) lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied painting at Yale University and received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Martin's compulsive paintings are playful, unpredictable encounters of the world around him, combining found objects and collage in abstract geometries and bold rhythmic patterns. Martin's abstractions serve as investigations in color, form, and texture—some thick and lumpy, others painted with spare restraint indicative of an unstable, constantly shifting internal landscape. Martin's paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other museums.

Chris Martin, Untitled, 1999, acrylic on paper, 13" x 10"