Fern Bass began her study of painting and drawing as a child at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and continued into her early twenties at the Art Students League. By 1978, she started working towards a BFA in communications design at Pratt Institute. The years 1981 through 1996 were spent nurturing a successful commercial career in editorial and promotional art direction at Fairchild Publications, The New York Times and Conde Nast Publications.
It wasn’t until after her mother’s death in 1998, that Bass began painting again after a long haitus. Pouring over family albums inspired her to revisit characters from her family’s past in an attempt to memorialize and emotionally chronicle her family history. After producing an entire body of work based on her family, Bass went on to create highly gestural explorations of the figure using startling color and expressive line.
Her current work consists of monoprints and paintings on paper. They are mostly portraits filled with emotional resonance in which she uses a muted color palette.