Arturo Herrera - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present new collages of Arturo Herrera at Zimmerstraße 90/91.

This new large scale series of cut-out collages are based on two characters: an old dwarf and a boy playing the accordeon. The frontal views were found in a generic coloring book. The rear views were done by hiring an illustrator. In addition, the artist superimposed abstract line drawings on each figure. These images form the basic material of the collages. The characters are enlarged and appear to multiply and metamorphose themselves, inviting and resisting obliteration within the painted field. 
A variety of found, printed and painted papers were used for this series. Both the background and the cut-out that is collaged on top dissect and multiply the original figures.
A pliability of meaning is played out through the ambiguity of figurative and abstract forms. These forms do not enforce a specific message. Instead, they address the fragmentation and recomposition of mass-cultural elements to explore the impact of the language of abstraction into the collective gaze.

The challenge is, how can an image so recognizable, like a dwarf, or a cartoon character’s foot [...] have another meaning that I impose to it? Is it possible? Can I make something so clear ambiguous? Can I uproot it? In which ways is the baggage that we bring to the new image relevant to the vivid recollections within our cultural context? I am attracted to juxtaposing invented images and readymade images without establishing explicit relations between elements. [...] There is a touching uncertainty about fragments. Fragmentation in my case deals with the fact that the image has a connection to the past, with multiple and contradictory meanings. What I’m trying to do is create a powerful image, a solid structure, out of fragments.“ 
(Arturo Herrera in an interview by Josiah McElheny)

The collages of this series, consisting of 75 works in total, will be published in a catalogue at Holzwarth Publications in cooperation with Sikkema, Jenkins & Co., New York.

The artist was born in 1959. He lives and works in Berlin and New York. This is the second solo exhibition of Arturo Herrera at Galerie Max Hetzler. Other selected solo exhibitions took place in: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; P.S.1, Long Island; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Upcoming shows include: Comic Abstraction at MoMA; solo exhibtions at the IKON Gallery, Birmingham; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield and Kettles Yard, Cambridge.