Fern Bass is a painter, printmaker, and educator. She earned her BFA in communications design at Pratt Institute and has studied at the Studio School and the Art Students League. She spent 16 years as an editorial and promotional art director at Fairchild Publications, The New York Times, and Conde Nast Publications. For the past 17 years, she has run Bass Arts Studio, an art school in Montclair New Jersey, while maintaining an active studio practice.


My primary visual preoccupation has always been energetic gestures and rhythm. In the past, the work focused on the movement of bodies in space. Recently the work has turned inward to describe internal states.

The current work grows out of a desire to speak about emotional complexity in everyday situations.

The paintings are an invitation to enter an intimate space and connect with the subjects in a moment of shared humanity. The use of rich color, loose brushstrokes, and spatial depth support the psychological narrative.