Arturo Herrera, Venezuelan (1959 - )

Arturo Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959, and lives and works in New York and Berlin, Germany. He received a BA from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Herrera’s work includes collage, work on paper, sculpture, relief, wall painting, photography, and felt wall hangings. His work taps into the viewer’s unconscious, often intertwining fragments of cartoon characters with abstract shapes and partially obscured images that evoke memory and recollection.

Using techniques of fragmentation, splicing, and re-contextualization, Herrera’s work is provocative and open-ended. For his collages he uses found images from cartoons, coloring books, and fairy tales, combining fragments of Disney-like characters with violent and sexual imagery to make work that borders between figuration and abstraction and subverts the innocence of cartoon referents with a darker psychology. In his felt works, he cuts shapes from a piece of fabric and pins the fabric to the wall so that it hangs like a tangled form resembling the drips and splatters of a Jackson Pollock painting. Herrera’s wall paintings also meld recognizable imagery with abstraction, but on an environmental scale that he compares to the qualities of dance and music. Herrera has received many awards including, among others, a DAAD Fellowship. He 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; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, among others. His work appeared in the Whitney Biennial (2002).

Education

1992 MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois
1982 BFA, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Solo Exhibitions

1998 The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Worchester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts
The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Wooster Gardens, New York, New York
1996 Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
University Club, Chicago, Illinois
Revolution Gallery, Ferndale, Michican
1995 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Hermetic Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1994 MWMWM Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1993 The Center for Contemporary Arts, Sante Fe, New Mexico
MWMWM Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

Selected Group Exhibitions

1998 "Arturo Herrera and Kara Walker," Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, United Kingdom
1996 "Arturo Herrera and Carla Preiss," Thread Waxing Space, New York, New York
1995 "Crystal Blue Persuasion," Feature, New York, New York
"Some Late 20th Century Abstraction," LACE, Los Angeles, California
1994 "Arturo Herrera and Steven Rotter," PS 122, New York, New York
"Selections Spring '94: The Sick Rose," The Drawing Center, New York, New York

Selected Bibliography

1998 Arturo Herrera, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, 1998. With essays by Maria Tatar and Neville Wakefield.
Estep, Jan. "Arturo Herrera," New Art Examiner, March, pp. 50-51.
Grabner, Michelle. "Arturo Herrera, Renaissance Society & Wooster Gardens," Art Press, April, pp. 80-81.
1995 Hixson, Kathryn. "Arturo Herrera at Randolph Street Gallery," Flash Art, October, p. 111.

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