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 Arturo Herrera  (1959 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/Oklahoma / Germany      Known for: cartoon style pop culture paintings, collage, sculpture, photography, wall hangings

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is a New York Times exhibition review, November 13, 2014., Sikkema Jenkins & Company Gallery

It's never too late to step up your game. Arturo Herrera could have continued with his essentially one-trick-pony career, exemplified by large droopy wall pieces in thick felt with cutout shapes based on Walt Disney characters ? that you could see if you were so informed.

But in his first New York gallery show in almost four years, Mr. Herrera has expanded beyond fashionable, pop-culture-inflected inscrutability, heading into riskier terrain that is more personal and experiential. Basically, it's form over concept in these layered, disorienting amalgams of painting, collage and assemblage ? whose origins, it should be noted, include the juxtapositions in David Salle's paintings.

In Mr. Herrera's smallish hybrids, the cutout felt continues and one recurring excision might even be a bunny from "Snow White." But now the holes often reveal additional layers of felt splashed with paint and sandwiched with sheets of silk-screened aluminum, fabric tote bags and other textiles, and occasionally books dipped in paint.

You have to really explore the different materials, processes and previous lives, while parsing the tensions between physical fact and visual effect. This applies to relatively simple pieces like Untitled (Munich), where the paint jumps between two layers of dark felt, and busier ones, like Untitled (Liebe), with its kaleidoscopic slices of thrift-shop paintings, or Untitled (Red/Blue Hamburger), which repeats the possible bunny shape.

Don't overlook the "oil studies" on found books and their stunning, miniaturized bravura. Mr. Herrera's efforts are not all good, and at times they feel a little formulaic, but altogether this is a very heartening show, both for Mr. Herrera and art in general.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Arturo Herrera:

Born: 1959
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Lives and Works: New York, NY and Berlin, Germany
Education: MFA, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, 1992?; BA, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, 1982

Working in a variety of mediums, Arturo Herrera's work includes collage, works on paper, sculpture, relief, wall painting, photography, and felt wall hangings. He often appropriates images from cartoons, coloring books, and fairy tales, and re-contextualizes them to evoke memory and recollection and tap into the subconscious. By juxtaposing these familiar icons of innocence against imagery of violence and sexuality, he adds a darker, psychological layer to many of his compositions and collages.??

Herrera has had solo exhibitions at Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; among others. His work appeared in the Whitney Biennial (2002), and he has received many awards including a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship.

Boston Museum of Art, Boston, MA?
Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL?
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL?
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY?
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA?
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY?
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY?
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain?
Tate Modern, London, England?
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

"Arturo Herrera", Artspace, (Accessed 11/14/2014)

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