The Bass announces the opening of Phraseology, a new exhibition that explores language in modern and contemporary art. Featuring works from The Bass Collection and works on loan, Phraseology is on view from July 30, 2022, through April 23, 2023.
The term “phraseology” references the specific choice of words that a communicator, in this case the artist, uses to highlight certain topics. With the rise of the Conceptual Art movement in the 1960s, many artists began to create art that valued an idea or concept over the finished work. Artists wanted to redefine what art could be and the topics it addressed beyond visual aesthetics. In Phraseology artists merge form and idea by creating works that contain text, familiar phrases and poetry.
Artists in Phraseology employ recognizable language, phrases or slogans that provide conflicting modes of observation to relay a new or different perspective. Placing text in the central role in their art practice, the artists use word play, political activism, subversion of advertising or appropriation of form to reveal, amplify and question histories and contemporary issues.