Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces

Exhibition Website

Oct 21 2020 - Apr 25 2021

Carmen Herrera has built a prolific career spanning nine decades, dedicated to expanding the boundaries of geometric abstraction. Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces is the first MFAH exhibition devoted exclusively to the internationally celebrated Cuban American artist, who turned 105 in May.

Structuring Surfaces reveals Herrera’s elaborate artistic process, by which she structures the surfaces of her supports to produce dynamic spatial tension. The exhibition showcases more than 30 works from the 1960s to the present, including paintings, drawings, prints, wall structures, and objects.

Influenced by her early architectural training, Herrera began to conceptualize her two-dimensional paintings as objects through a series of drawings produced in 1966. Five years later, she transformed these drawings into wall reliefs that she called Estructuras (Structures). Hovering between painting and sculpture, these works directly influenced other areas of Herrera’s artistic production, as she consistently structured her compositions to physically manifest the hard edges and lines of her works. Structuring Surfaces investigates the various formats these constructions assumed as Herrera seamlessly moved between media to generate tension between planarity and three-dimensionality, line and form, and positive and negative space.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

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