Minimalist Focus: Carmen Herrera

11.20.20

Minimalist Focus: Carmen Herrera

 

“I began...taking away what was not essential.”

 

In 2020, as a 105 year old, Cuban artist Carmen Herrera –– having been friends with figures such as Jean Genet...or in attendance at the first production of Waiting for Godot –– is a polychromatic fixture of a waned world. She is also, in the tragicomedy's manner, accustomed to waiting herself –– for her own recognition; only her time did eventually, if narrowly arrive. 


At the age of eighty-nine Herrera sold her first painting, and came into the public eye in a robust tenth decade, with the anti-aging technique of a daily scotch. She opts to call some of her works ‘estructuras’ –– an architect’s language. In the thirties, Herrera studied architecture at Universidad de La Habana, and has retained an affection for order and drafting with precision. It could be said that a calculated patience has been both a part of Herrera’s formal technique and characteristic fate; her bold and dynamic pieces –– her own “lifelong process of purification.”

 

1. Carmen Herrera (1948)

2. Blanco y Verde (1966)

3. Green Garden (1950)

4. Friday (1978)

5. Red Star (1949)

6. Herrera at Work (1941)

7. Siete (1949)

8. Rojo y Negro (1993)

9. Herrera in Studio (present) 

10. B&W (2009)

11. Herrera in Studio (1940s)

12. Estructura Verde (2018)

13. Herrera La Silla (n.d.)