Carmen Herrera

March 24 - April 23, 2011

Arratia Beer Berlin is very pleased to present the work of the Cuban artist Carmen Herrera. Born in 1915 in Havana, Carmen Herrera has worked consistenly since the late 1930's. After studying at the School of Architecture of Havana, Herrera lived in Paris during the postwar years joining the vanguards circles of geometric abstraction and taking part in the exhibitions of the Salon des Nouvelles Réalités, along with Josef Albers, Jean Arp and Sonia Delaunay. In 1954 Herrera established herself in New York.

Long overlooked by the art world, Herrera sold her first painting in 2004 when she was 89 years old. As the curator Nigel Prince states: "Despite the visionary nature of her work and her association with artists of great reputation and influence, including Barnett Newman and Leon Polk Smith, Herrera's paintings have been the subject of few exhibitions. This is a story familiar to many women artists of her generation emerging during the post-war years." However, as her 2009 retrospective at IKON gallery, Birmingham reveals, Herrera's work represents a fundamental contribution to the development of geometric abstraction in the Americas.

Carmen Herrera has conducted with her work a continuous investigation, engaged in a formal rigurosity disregarding commercial success. Her work reveals a tendency towards a balance between the autonomy of the forms and their intellectual control. As the artist has pointed out: "It is a process that must choose, among innumerable possibilities, the one that balances reason and visual execution". 

In recent years the work of Carmen Herrera has began to receive the long overdue critical recognition it deserves. Her work is represented at the Museum of Modern Art, (MoMA) New York and the Tate Modern in London. In 2009 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Carmen Herrera works and lives in New York.


Click here for the German press release