Bas Jan Ader at his MFA final show, 1967
Bas Jan Ader Please don't leave me, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
I first became aware of Bas Jan Ader through his work "I'm too sad to tell you." My interest only grew after reading of his final project "In search of the miraculous," Bas Jan Ader attempted to single-handedly sail across the Atlantic (from the U.S. to Europe). What makes that feat even more audacious, Ban Jan Ader's boat was only 12 feet long and without motor. Bas Jan Ader never made it to Europe, his boat was recovered but the artist was missing at sea.
Bas Jan Ader left behind a strong body of work. In addition to "I'm too sad to tell you" he made a several videos of himself falling. Falling off the roof of his house in Los Angeles, falling out of a tree into a small canal, falling on a saw horse, all filmed in 16mm black and white the works have a eerie disturbing quality.