Carmen Herrera “Paintings on Paper”

Carmen Herrera is a Cuban-American minimalist abstract painter.

Carmen Herrera in New York City

Ms. Herrera lives and works in New York.

Paintings on Paper is at Lisson Gallery May 3 – June 10, 2017.

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Greenwich Village September 16, 2016 – January 9, 2017, is a major retrospective of Carmen Herrera’s work.

The exhibition shows the Herrera’s development from 1948 to 1978. The exhibition has three parts. The first explores the abstract artist’s early development in Paris from 1948 to 1953. A black-and-white series foreshadows 1960s minimalism. She begins using the entire frame in her work.

The second section focuses on Herrera’s “Blanco y Verde” series (1959-1971). It includes nine pieces from the series. The final section examines includes four wooden sculptures and several paintings. The exhibition was curated by Dana Miller.

About Carmen Herrera

Carmen Herrera was born in Havana in 1915 to a journalist family. She grew up in Cuba, lived in Paris in the 1930s and returned to Cuba in 1935 to study architecture. You can see that archictectural training in her work. Herrera married an American in 1939. She moved with him to New York City where she studied art in the 1940s when Abstract Expressionism was blooming. After World War II ended, the couple moved to Paris where Herrera began to develop her signature style with a group of artists known as “Salon des Réalités Nouvelles.”

Herrera moved back to New York in the mid 1950s and continued working unnoticed in her own particular style of simple, but electric shape and color. Though she has her own sensibilty, you would put her in the line of Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella.

Still going strong after more than 101 years, Herrera continues working in her loft apartment on East 19th Street, just north of Union Square.

Herrera was an unknown artist for most of her working life. She was “discovered” in 2004 when she was 89 years old. Since then her work has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Carmen Herrera is represented in New York by Lisson Gallery in Chelsea.


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