Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces

“Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces” opened on October 21, 2020, and remains on view through April 25, 2021, at the museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). “Structuring Surfaces” can be seen at the Caroline Wiess Law Building, located at 1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston, Texas. Also complementing the MFAH exhibition is “Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales,” an outdoor installation of large-scale sculptural works.

Description: 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.

• Related Installation
Complementing the MFAH exhibition is Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales, an outdoor installation of large-scale sculptural works. Presented by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Estructuras Monumentales is on view October 22 to April 23 in Buffalo Bayou Park, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. Initially organized by the Public Art Fund and featured at New York’s City Hall Park, the installation in Houston marks the first time Herrera’s sculptures have been shown outside of New York. Included with general admission. Advance timed tickets recommended.

For full post and photo gallery, see

[Photo above: Carmen Herrera, Amarillo uno (Yellow 1), 1971, acrylic on plywood. © Carmen Herrera, courtesy Lisson Gallery.]

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