London, 1 February – 3 March 2012
“I never met a straight line I did not like” Carmen Herrera, 2010
Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce an extensive survey show of works by the Cuban painter Carmen Herrera. One of her most comprehensive exhibitions to date, this will include historic paintings from the 1940s through to the present day. Born in 1915 Herrera continues to draw and paint every day from her home in New York City.
Recognition came late for Herrera; a story not uncommon among women of her generation. After seven decades of painting, her work was finally revealed to a wider audience through shows in New York and in the UK at IKON Gallery, Birmingham in 2009; Herrera was instantly recognised as a pioneer of Geometric Abstraction and Latin American Modernism. Her compositions are striking in their formal simplicity and heavily influenced by her architectural studies at the University of Havana, Cuba from 1937 to 1938. Combining line, form and space, the geometric division of the canvas with shapes or lines, complemented by blocks of colour, form the structural basis of each work.
Herrera’s early works dating from the mid-1940s anticipated the hard-edge Minimalism of the 1960s. Having moved to Paris from New York in 1948, Herrera found her work taking new direction, departing from her Abstract Expressionist approach to establish a more concrete style. Predominately composed of two contrasting colours punctuated with black, as seen in Untitled, (1948-1956), Herrera’s intuitive compositions eliminate reference to the external world employing the simplicity inherent in their geometric arrangements to imbue an acute physicality and structure. They comprise a harmonious balance of non-representational shapes whose reductive forms simultaneously lie adjacent to and on top of one another. The lyrical and organic forms of Herrera’s early paintings, reminiscent of the crowded compositions of Synthetic Cubist collages, gave way to her pure geometric and Constructivist forms from the 1960s onwards.
Works on view
67 Lisson Street
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm