Lisson Gallery

Carmen Herrera

Core to Carmen Herrera’s painting is a drive for formal simplicity and a striking sense of colour: “My quest”, she says, “is for the simplest of pictorial resolutions” (2012). A master of crisp lines and contrasting chromatic planes, Herrera creates symmetry, asymmetry and an infinite variety of movement, rhythm and spatial tension across the canvas with the most unobtrusive application of paint. As she moved towards pure, geometric abstraction in the post-war years in Paris, she exhibited alongside Theo van Doesburg, Max Bill and Piet Mondrian and a younger generation of Latin American artists, such as members of the Venezuelan Los Disidentes, Brazilian Concretists and the Argentinian Grupo Madi. Her work also chimes with her peers from the U.S. school such as Barnett Newman and Leon Polk Smith. Reflecting on this period, she says, “I began a lifelong process of purification, a process of taking away what isn’t essential” (2005). While allied with Latin American non-representational concrete painting, Herrera’s body of work has established, quietly but steadily, a cross-cultural dialogue within the international history of modernist abstraction.

Carmen Herrera was born in Havana, Cuba in 1915. She moved frequently between France and Cuba throughout the 1930s and 1940s; having started studying architecture at the Universidad de La Habana, Havana, Cuba (1938–39), she trained at the Art Students League, New York, NY, USA (1942–43), before exhibiting five times at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1949–53). She settled in New York in 1954, where she continues to live and work. Herrera’s work was the subject of a large-scale survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2017), which traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (2017) and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20) in Düsseldorf, Germany (2017–2018). A selection of Herrera’s recent paintings and Estructuras inaugurated Lisson Gallery New York’s 24th Street exhibition space in May 2016. Herrera has also had significant solo exhibitions at the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany (2010); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2009); and Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA (1998). She has been included in the group shows at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2021); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2021); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2019); Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France (2018); The Underground Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2017); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2016); Phoenix Museum of Art, AZ, USA (2013); and Sheldon Museum of Art, NE, USA (2012), among others. Her work was recently featured in the exhibition Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (17 December 2018 – 4 February 2020). In the past year, two major solo presentations were exhibited in Houston, Texas — Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (21 October 2020 – 25 April 2021) and Estructuras Monumentales at Buffalo Bayou Park (22 October 2020 – 23 April 2021). Herrera premiered her Estructuras Monuentales, massive aluminium structures largely conceived in the 1960s and 1970s, at City Hall Park in New York City in 2019, organised by the Public Art Fund (11 July – 8 November 2019).

Herrera was awarded two fellowships from the Cintas Foundation, New York, NY, USA (1966–68) and a grant by the Creative Artists Public Service, New York, NY, USA (1977). Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA; El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, USA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, USA; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, USA; Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, AR, USA; the Tate Collection, London, UK; Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany; and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20), Düsseldorf, Germany.

 

Current & Recent Projects:

'Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging - 16 Women Artists from around the World', the Mori Art Museum, Toyko, Japan, 22 April - 26 September 2021

'Women in Abstraction' Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 19 May - 23 August 2021

 

 

 

El Cruce

Carmen Herrera
El Cruce
2017
Acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 121.9 cm / 72 x 48 in

Angulo Blanco

Carmen Herrera
Angulo Blanco
2017
Acrylic and aluminium, 213.4 x 307 x 48.3 cm / 84 x 120 7/8 x 19 in

Estructuras Monumentales

Carmen Herrera
Estructuras Monumentales
2020-2021
Installation image, Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, TX, USA

Black & Orange

Carmen Herrera
Black & Orange
1989
Acrylic on canvas, 106.7 x 106.7 cm / 42 x 42 in

Green Garden

Carmen Herrera
Green Garden
1950
Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 60.8 cm / 18 x 24 in. Collection of the Tate, London

Amarillo Uno

Carmen Herrera
Amarillo Uno
1971
Acrylic on Plywood, 101.6 x 152.4 x 8.3 cm / 40 x 60 x 3 1/4 in

Blanco y Verde

Carmen Herrera
Blanco y Verde
1959
Acrylic on canvas, 172.7 x 152.4 cm / 68 x 60 in. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

Blue with White Line

Carmen Herrera
Blue with White Line
1964
Acrylic on canvas, 172.4 x 172.4 cm / 68 x w 68 in.

Untitled

Carmen Herrera
Untitled
2016
Acrylic on paper, 76.2 x 55.9 cm / 30 x 22 in

Iberic

Carmen Herrera
Iberic
1949
Acrylic on Canvas on Board, 101.6 cm / 40 in diameter. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Pavanne (Green)

Carmen Herrera
Pavanne (Green)
1967/2016
Acrylic and aluminium, 91.4 x 91.4 x 60.9 cm / 35 7/8 x 35 7/8 x 23 7/8 in, Ed. 1 of 1 + 1 AP

Black and White

Carmen Herrera
Black and White
1987
Acrylic on canvas, 182.9 x 152.4 cm / 72 x 60 in

Untitled

Carmen Herrera
Untitled
2015
Acrylic and pencil on paper, 50.2 x 70.5 cm / 19 3/4 x 27 3/4 in

Alpes

Carmen Herrera
Alpes
2015
Acrylic on canvas, 304.8 x 182.8 cm / 72 x 120 in. Collection of K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany

Exhibitions

  1. Selected Works

    Selected Works

    16 February – 24 April 2021

  2. OVR: Miami Beach | Painting Protocols

    OVR: Miami Beach | Painting Protocols

    1 December – 15 December 2020

  3. Carmen Herrera: Painting in Process

    Carmen Herrera: Painting in Process

    10 September – 17 October 2020

  4. Carmen Herrera

    Carmen Herrera

    6 August – 10 August 2020

  5. Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms: Memories of Elsewhere

    Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms: Memories o...

    16 June – 28 June 2020

  6. Carmen Herrera: Estructuras

    Carmen Herrera: Estructuras

    14 September – 27 October 2018

  7. Carmen Herrera

    Carmen Herrera

    25 November 2017 – 17 February 2018

  8. Carmen Herrera: Paintings on Paper

    Carmen Herrera: Paintings on Paper

    3 May – 10 June 2017

  9. Carmen Herrera

    Carmen Herrera

    3 May – 11 June 2016

  10. Carmen Herrera: Works on Paper 2010 - 2012

    Carmen Herrera: Works on Paper 2010 - 2012

    25 January – 15 March 2013

  11. Carmen Herrera

    Carmen Herrera

    1 February – 3 March 2012

  12. Peter Joseph and Carmen Herrera

    Peter Joseph and Carmen Herrera

    23 November 2010 – 29 January 2011

We use cookies on our website to improve your experience. You can find out why by reading our privacy policy. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies Privacy Policy