Primary Time, 1974


Bas Jan Ader

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc

Domage © Bas Jan Ader Estate

"Primary Time" (1974) references the work of another Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian, who used primary colours, one of the principles of neo-plasticism.

In the video, Bas Jan Ader arranges flowers – another Dutch national symbol – into bouquets that are exclusively yellow, then red, then blue, but is dissatisfied with each one, as if Mondrian’s radical abstraction could not compete with the simple beauty of a vase of flowers, a subject open to endless variations as fleeting as life itself.

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Bas Jan Ader

1942-1975, in Winschoten (Netherlands)
Lost at sea

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.
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