Hernan Bas: The Hallucinations of Poets

7 October - 13 November 2010
Victoria Miro Gallery I


16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Victora Miro is delighted to present The Hallucinations of Poets, the third solo exhibition with the gallery by Hernan Bas.

The American painter Hernan Bas's practice has always been intrinsically linked to an exploration of literature and the written word. For an exhibition earlier this year, Bas presented works referencing the American Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott) - or, in Bas's words, the 'original hippies', as their writing suggests a 'back to nature' perspective. In The Hallucinations of Poets, Bas delves into the more foreboding preoccupations of Dark Romanticism. Whilst Poe, Melville, Hawthorn and Dickinson shared the belief with the Transcendentalists that nature is a deeply spiritual force, they took an inherently sinister stance to the Transcendentalists' innately optimistic views. For these Dark Romantics, the natural world is full of shadows, decay, mystery, ghosts and death.  These works, the first series in Bas's oeuvre to directly address the realm of poetry, are characterized by a sombre palette and charged, mysterious atmospheres.

In one painting, The Hallucinations of Poets (dandelion), a young man in a shimmering landscape encounters a floating dandelion seed, which seems to possess a luminous magic. In another work, The garden always felt different at night, a boy approaches the edges of dense foliage in an ominous gloom, his torch carving shards of light through the leaves. Youthful males - alone or in pairs - inhabit these territories: landscapes full of the fantastical somehow borne of the banal. Darkness and light, the known and unknown, are all forces that coexist in Bas's works, creating otherworldly, rich images, regions defined by the outer reaches of imagination, and a nature rendered both familiar and strange.

This is the first body of work completed entirely in Bas's new home in the city of Detroit. Here, far from Miami where he had lived since birth, Bas encountered an entirely different version of nature in his garden surroundings. Inspired by these experiences together with his readings, Bas's works endeavor to capture the poetic imagination, and suggest that moments of reflection allow the ordinary to become extraordinary.

Hernan Bas was born in 1978 in Miami Florida. He currently lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. A major survey of Bas's work opened at the Rubell Family Collection, Miami in 2007 and toured to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009. Bas has exhibited works in group exhibitions at significant venues including 'The Collectors', Nordic Pavilion, 2009 Venice Biennale (curated by Elmgreen & Dragset); KaDE, Amersfoort, the Netherlands; 6th Busan Biennale, Korea; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Haifa Museum of Art, Israel; Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens; Saatchi Gallery, London; the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art; The Moore Space, Miami; and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: +44 (0)20 7336 8109


View map

Victoria Miro Venice

Il Capricorno, San Marco 1994,

Calle Drio La Chiesa

30124 Venice, Italy

t: +39 041 523 3799 

View map

Opening Times

London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm. 


Venice: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. 


We are also closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. 


Admission free. 



All general enquiries should be sent to


All press enquiries should be sent to
All rights and reproduction enquiries should be sent to

Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.


Before contacting or subscribing please read our Privacy Policy


We respect the choices you make about how you would like to hear from us. You will find links at the bottom of all emails we send from our mailing list which allow you to Update your preferences to change the way we contact you, or Unsubscribe if you want to opt out.


Staff contact details


Victoria Miro
W.P. Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
Divya Pande
Head of Directors' Office, Client and Business Development
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0903


Matt Carey-Williams
Senior Director, Head of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4345
Oliver Miro
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0496
Senior Director, Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0494
Clare Coombes
Director of Sales - Museum Acquisitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0919
Alessandra Modiano
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4346
Director – Venice
Direct line: +39 041 523 3799
Fern Warriner
Sales Associate; EA to Matt Carey-Williams
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0905
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
Art Fair Co-ordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0498
India Cawley-Gelling
Sales Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0)207 549 0429


Erin Manns
Director of Exhibitions - Head of Department
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0918
Mary Taylor
Senior Production Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Production and Artist Projects
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0426
Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0901
Vortic Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4354
Virginia Sirena
Front of House Coordinator and Exhibitions Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109


Kathy Stephenson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0422
Martin Coomer
Head of Editorial and Digital Content
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0915
Marisa J. Futernick
Digital and Social Media Consultant
Direct line: +1 (860) 549-2576
Katrina Millar
Communications, Marketing & Events Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)207 549 0499
Bea Bradley
Photography, Rights & Reproduction Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0428
Special Projects and Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0912
Design and Communications Coordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0499


Robert Holzberger
Director of Operations
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0495
Buildings and IT Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0914
Clare Rowe
Paper Archive and Records Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0493
Philip Ewe
Library Coordinator and Archive Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Adeline Guy
Registrar Director - Head of Department
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7324 0916
Jayne Archard
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)207 324 0910
Alice Panton
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0904
Elina Pelvanidi
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4348
Emer Bermingham
Registrar, Project Manager
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4349

Technical Services

David Wood
Technical Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0900
Jon Glazier
Head Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0425
Martin Fletcher
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4340
Jonny Winter
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 9624 341
Rob Phillips
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492


Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109