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This exhibit presents a selection of approximately 40 paintings along with rare works on paper and selected letters by this important but under-recognized artist. For most of his career, Bess lived an isolated existence in a fishing camp outside of Bay City, eking out a meager living by selling bait and fishing. By night and during the off-season, however, he read, wrote, and painted prolifically, creating an extraordinary body of mostly small-scale canvases rich with enigmatic symbolism. Despite his isolation, Bess was known to a number of other artists, and in 1949 he met the prominent artist and dealer Betty Parsons. Between 1949 and 1967, Parsons organized six solo exhibitions of his work at her gallery in New York, the undisputed center of the art world at the time. The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross.