“Carmen Herrera is the discovery of the year – of the decade… How can we have missed these brilliant compositions? … Perhaps her absence from our galleries has something to do with this fact; like so many women artists in postwar America – Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois – she seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, 50s Manhattan being a citadel for abstract expressionist men.” – Laura Cumming in “Carmen Herrera”, The Observer, 02.08.2009, United Kingdom.
Carmen Herrera is a Cuban American minimalist working in sculpture and painting who, despite being prolific throughout her life, her commercial success started at the age of 89. Today she is considered a major figure in geometric abstraction, alongside the likes of Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin and Frank Stella. Central to her work is a drive for formal simplicity and a striking sense of and engagement with colour. Of her work Herrera said: “my quest is for the simplest of pictorial resolution.” Carmen Herrera uses bold blocks of colour and strong diagonal lines in an attempt create order in a chaotic word. She is fascinated with how colours interact with one and other, as well as with the viewer, and is also driven by an interest in how space and colour interact. As a Cuban born artist who has lived and worked in America since a young age, Carmen Herrera stands at a fascinating cross roads of cultural dialogue with the international history of modernist abstraction, and strives to avoid any politicisation of her work. Cuban, b. 1915, Havana Cuba, based in New York.
Carmen Herrera, Untitled (NRW)