about the exhibition
New Works 00.1
New York, NY
March 09–April 16, 2000about the artist
New York-based Arturo Herrera was born in 1959 in Caracas, Venezuela. He holds a B.F.A. from the University of Tulsa, OK and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Herrera is a graduate advisor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL and Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. He is the Viewings Curator at The Drawing Center in New York.
Since the early 1990s, Herrera’s work has been widely exhibited, including solo exhibitions at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (1999); The Art Institute of Chicago, IL (1998), The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, IL (1998), Worcester Art Museum, MA (1998); and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (1995). His work was included in the 1999 Istanbul Biennial, Turkey and is currently part of P.S.1/The Museum of Modern Art’s Greater New York. His Internet piece for Dia Center for the Arts, New York, NY can be accessed at www.diacenter.org. His work is represented by Brent Sikkema Gallery in New York.
It is often noted that Herrera’s work is rooted in collage. His transformative impulse depends on images, impressions, fears and desires that lay buried in the subconscious or are caught in the periphery. With off-key color, rounded edges and gestural lines, Herrera’s work is the result of a collision between popular culture and high Modernism. The cropping techniques of collage and the mixing of the fragmented images draw attention to the psychological act of interpretation.
Arturo Herrera was chosen for his ArtPace residency by the March 1998 panel consisting of Dan Cameron, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Amada Cruz, Kellie Jones, Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Nancy Rubins.
about the project
During his ArtPace residency, Arturo Herrera produced multiple bodies of work including sculpture, paintings, prints, works on paper and architectural installations. The works continue Herrera’s investigations of content and form, working with fragmented images from popular culture.
In his new panel paintings, incised lines wind their way across the wooden surfaces. Painted a rich color, the linear trace invites interpretation: is it the marking from a map, the contour of a body or a form from nature? In another series of panel paintings, Herrera shapes the wood into curved abstractions, which suggest fragments of things or space. The surface of these works, precisely finished in solid colors, appear manufactured, yet the ambiguous shapes—neither industrial nor natural—ultimately suggest the cultural.
In another series, small-scale metal sculptures rest on the floor. Again, a reductive line is the source. Embellished with a brightly colored paint, the grounded sculptures are humorous and ambiguously sexual.
Working with Hare and Hound Press in San Antonio, Herrera has produced two editions of prints and photogravures. These works on paper extract and rearrange lines from popular sources with the staccato rhythm of animated cartoons. The relief prints contain negative space of white lines on a soft, baby blue foreground, evoking childhood memories in a dense, urban composition. Herrera’s photogravures are reductive and minimalist, containing graphic black lines on a crisp white surface.
Herrera’s work, playing a balancing act between abstraction and representation, shifts scale, experiments with form and ultimately, leaves itself wide open to the viewer. “The new works investigate a range of psychological impacts,” the artist comments. “The efficacy of fragmented forms provokes various levels of corporeal and intellectual resonance. I am interested in the effect of non-linear and associative readings on the viewer and the potential of painted space to be an intimate receptacle for the imagination and an aesthetic experience.”