Dan Basen, ‘Choose A Shade’, 1964, Rago

At the core of Dan Basen’s work is the act of stripping objects from their original intended use and compelling the viewer to scrutinize them anew. His work associates heavily with the ready-made tradition in his reordering of common manufactured items into collaged or constructed works. During his brief career, Basen received numerous accolades and his work has been featured in museum exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum, New York (both of which own the artist’s work), as well as the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Basen had solo exhibitions at Allan Stone Gallery, and was featured in group exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery, Byron Gallery, and Matthew Marks Gallery. --Courtesy of Rago Auctions

Signature: Signed and dated lower center

Allan Stone Projects, New York. Dan Basen: Collage & Assemblage 1960-1965, March 26 - June 6, 2015

The Artist

About Dan Basen

Like other Assemblage artists of the 1950s and ’60s, New York artist Dan Basen responded to the effects of mass production through his use of manufactured items in boxed constructions and ordered compositions. His work preempts contemporary concerns about the cataloguing of objects in art, encasing useful tools within cases—their function beyond reach—recalling French peer Arman’s object vitrines. Matchsticks are placed into regular grids, for example, away from any possibility of ignition. Basen also created mixed media collages that configure commercial packaging into new forms with a Pop Art aesthetic, such as Hershey’s (1963), and bright paint patches into charts whose shapes remain slightly off-kilter. Over the course of his brief life, Basen sought to create a reassuring order within a world of chaos.

American, 1939-1970, Poughkeepsie, New York

Group Shows