Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is proud to present an exhibition of new work by Arturo Herrera, the artist’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from October 10 through November 15, 2014.
Over the past fifteen years, Arturo Herrera has developed a diverse body of work that includes collages, painted wood sculptures, paper cut-outs, felt pieces and wall installations. The current exhibition features Herrera’s first paintings.
The show includes works on linen, aluminum and canvas. The paintings are built on top of the imagery and language of found materials, such as cloth bags, commercial flags and banners, thrift store paintings, and embroidered tablecloths. These works challenge the traditional two-dimensionality of painting by deconstructing the surface of the picture plane. Layers of material hang loosely over the canvas like pages or curtains, both revealing and veiling what is below. The paintings preserve the separation of layers that they are made of, giving them an almost sensual, clothing-like sense of the surface and the body below.
These large scale works are punctuated by a series of intimate “book paintings,” in which the pages of flea-market books from a variety of genres are sealed shut by the spills and drips of paint.
Moving away from the psychological metaphor of “the cut” prevalent in his earlier work, here Herrera uses his ability to create compelling graphic forms, constructing what might be called “object-based paintings.” These hybrids of language and image reference the contemporary concept of the mash-up, most often ascribed to music, into the physical arena of abstract painting. The exhibition proposes the inclusion and importance of language and signs within abstraction, arguing that abstraction is not simply an optical exercise but a multi-layered experience that may be read.
Arturo Herrera holds a BFA from The University of Tulsa (1982) and a MFA from The University of Illinois at Chicago (1992). He is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005), a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship (2003), a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (1998), and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship (1992).
Herrera’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe including recent solo exhibitions at Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio and Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago (both 2013), which featured a group of altered books in which every page becomes a work by the artist. This past September he curated Without you I’m nothing at the Heldart Bikini Berlin. Upcoming projects include a lecture this December in conjunction with the Henri Matisse cut-outs exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a solo exhibition at the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York on view from June 6 through August 30, 2015.