Bas Jan Ader

Bas Jan Ader

1942 - 1975, born in Winschoten (Netherlands)


The short career of Bas Jan Ader, a legendary figure of the 1970s, was marked by a few works, photographs and filmed performances, in which he is both the subject and an object of protocols that examine the physical characteristics of the world – weight – as well as emotions – sadness – in an aesthetic similar to early video art.

Repeated falls, tears and gestures acquire, through tiny actions, an existential value. In 1975 the artist died crossing the Atlantic between the United States and Britain, while undertaking his last performance piece entitled In Search of the Miraculous.

Selected Bibliography

Verwoert, Jan. Bas Jan Ader : in search of the miraculous. London : Afterall books, 2006. (One work / Mark Lewis).

Wijk, Marion van ; Dalstar. In search of the miraculous : Bas Jan Ader : discovery file 143/76. Rotterdam : Veenman Publishers, 2006.

Wolfs, Rein ; Beenker, Erik ; Dean, Tacita... [et al.]. Bas Jan Ader : please don't leave me : [exhibition, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam]. Rotterdam : Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2006.

Spence, Brad ; University of California (Irvine, Calif.). Bas Jan Ader : [exhibition, Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine, February 23-March 20, 1999 ; Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz, April 2-May 8, 1999 ; Sweeney Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside, October 3-December 5, 1999]. Irvine : University of California Press, 1999. 

***   All materials available at the Documentation Centre of the Fondation  ***

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