French, b. in 1947
Within the large-scale drawings on view, Bess takes an approach akin to jazz improvisation. By beginning from a single mark on paper sprung from free association, a multi-paneled universe is forged. Bess approaches the work as a form of meditation where images are allowed to be born, morphed, or be held without consequence; to create a singular expression in its totality. The artist fills his drawings with details culled from cultures of Asia, baroque ornamentation, and bursts of flowering vegetation. In a style that Bess coins as naturalistic abstraction, the results appear to be suspended microcosms, brimming with a life of their own.