Visual Arts

Bjørn Båsen's Surreal Wonderland at Anya Tish Gallery

Bjørn Båsen's "Tainted Tales" at Anya Tish Gallery presents surreal paintings of antique china objects so odd and distorted, they look like a 19th-century housewife's laudanum-fueled daydream. And speaking of laudanum, Lewis Carroll is another influence here. In Taffel I (Wonderland) (2011), blue and white, delftware-like china objects cast the silhouette of a caterpillar perched on a mushroom and smoking a hookah.

The whole thing is set within a rounded, china-walled interior printed with blue flowers. Barely visible on the painting's surface is a bas-relief snippet of cursive text, apparently from Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Båsen's strange environments, executed with a shiny hyperrealism, are simultaneously engaging and unsettling.

(Through March 19. Anya Tish Gallery, 4411 Montrose Blvd., 713-524-2299)

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kelly Klaasmeyer
Contact: Kelly Klaasmeyer