Gary Baseman’s exhibition I Melt in Your Presence opened thirteen years ago at Modernism in San Francisco, California. Featuring more than two dozen paintings, this exhibition ran from March 15 to May 5, 2007.
Baseman has created several series since this exhibition exploring themes of history, heritage, and human condition. A press release from I Melt in Your Presence states:
“In his work Baseman seeks to discover ‘some small human truth, something about the human condition.’ What hits him the deepest are the personal themes of desire, longing and control, and aspects of value and worth. With influences such as Hieronymous Bosch and Day of the Dead imagery mixed with a certain sensibility of cute Japanese pop art and Americana, Baseman’s paintings with their pretty palettes of pinks, oranges, and blues, and cute cartoonish characters frolicking about, momentarily distract us from their dark, emotional symbolism.”
Baseman created a letterpress poster (edition of 250, sold out) especially for this show. I Melt in Your Presence is the debut exhibition of ChouChou, the healing creature that oozes Creamy Gooey Love from his bellybutton. Collectors and fans could still acquire Dying of Thirst, Baseman’s book that features art from I Melt in Your Presence and the follow-up exhibition Hide and Seek in the Forest of ChouChou.
Founded in 1979, Modernism has since presented exhibitions, both historical and contemporary, in media ranging from painting to photography, sculpture to performance, by an international roster of artists, including Andy Warhol, on his first show in the Bay Area (1982).