Arturo Herrera Abstract Print - Johannes
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Arturo Herrera
Johannes

2012

About

“Being Latin American, you are made up of so many fragments from different cultures,” Arturo Herrera (b. 1959) told Art21 in a documentary called Play. The sequence shows the Venezuela-born, New York and Berlin-based artist sifting through an enormous pile of clippings from paintings, drawings, and printed materials. These are the puzzle pieces for his abstract collages, which incorporate undulating forms and dazzling colors into compositions that almost seem to emit an exuberant hum. Herrera's editioned, mixed-media collage Johannes is one such visual chorus. Created over two years in collaboration with the printers at Pace Editions, Johannes is a tour de force of printmaking experimentation. This mixed-media collage is composed of more than 100 separately printed elements in various printmaking techniques, including etching, aquatint, linocut, letterpress, collagraph, silkscreen and digital pigment print. The work measures 62.5 x 39.5 inches (1587.5 x 1003.3 mm). It is from an edition of 35, which is a delightfully small edition size. The piece is signed and numbered by the artist in graphite. This piece is in excellent condition, it has actually never been shown and would therefore be classified as being in mint condition. Herrera presented the collage piece Johannes to a select group of master printers. The group amassed an intricate plan to move forward with recreating the piece by individually printing each collage component. This incredible undertaking required a unique printing process for each element based on that pieces texture and imagery. For example, parts that were hand painted for instance were printed using a linocut process which replicates the unique texture of the brush stroke. In all there are 106 individual collaged elements that were printed, meticulously cut out, and painstakingly collaged into position. The large red felt piece was then affixed to the center of the piece. The effect is a testament to the creativity and skill of the artist and the audacity and dedication of the printers. There is a terrific youtube video from Pace Editions that features the printers speaking about the work and their process. Johannes by Arturo Herrera is a visually stunning work. The interplay between the detailed collaged pieces of different shapes and colors beautifully lead the eye across the work. The large red felt swath at the center creates a dynamic and energetic atmosphere that draws in the viewer. The imagery of the collaged pieces come from photographs and newspaper clippings to abstract shapes and painted broad brushstrokes. The vibrant coloration of the piece creates an undertone of vitality and joy. The overall image is well composed, clear, and objective and yet made out of these disparate fragments. It is a masterful work that each time you view you will see something fresh and find a new connection within the piece.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions

    H 62.5 in. x W 39.5 in.

    H 158.75 cm x W 100.33 cm

  • Gallery location
    Santa Fe, NM
  • Reference number
    LU1283028033

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