Aglaé Bassens. Downtime

25 May 2023 – 7 Jul 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

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HESSE FLATOW is pleased to announce the opening of DOWNTIME, an exhibition of paintings by the Brooklyn-based artist Aglaé Bassens, marking her third solo presentation with the gallery.


Aglaé Bassens is interested in the overlap of the private experience with the communal one. While her paintings stem from her own memories, the imagery feels approximate enough to belong to anyone else’s recollections. Calling attention to the overlooked and the everyday, each work begins with a photograph, either her own or found. Bassens siphons her personal memories, loading each image with feeling.  At the same time, she edits and omits from each image, allowing it to be broad enough for anyone to identify with. Through her signature asymmetrical cropping and atmospheric treatment, she invites viewers to recognize something of their own in each painting.

Centering on the experience of being at home, DOWNTIME is made up of scenes of daily intimacy. A figure indulging in a cat nap, a takeout container-cum-wrapped gift, the undulating folds of a luxurious robe are a few motifs in Bassens’s repertoire that exude an ease and effortlessness as quotidian as the snapshots upon which they are based. 

In addition to connotations of leisure and relaxation meant to restore functionality, DOWNTIME expands upon feelings of melancholy and downheartedness coincident with malfunction. A crumpled lampshade, sliding curtains hanging from a broken rod, a neglected and algae overgrown aquarium all evoke a narrative sense of unease that is at odds with the calm of home; yet, in the seclusion of one’s private space is where such flaws are permissible. This slippage between the private and the public is fertile ground for Bassens’s practice, and an analogy for painting itself, made alone in the studio then exposed for all to see.

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Aglae Bassens


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