Carmen Herrera Cuban

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 912

With the shape of a tondo, Iberic presents a lyrical, dynamic composition of interwoven irregular geometric and organic shapes painted in three different colors—warm red, orange and black. Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera made this work during her crucial formative period in Paris between 1948 and 1954. Experimenting with various styles of abstraction, and influenced by movements such as Suprematism and the Bauhaus, Herrera exhibited at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, alongside artists such as Theo van Doesburg, Max Bill and Joseph Albers. The inspiration for Iberic came, however, from the work of Herrera’s close friend, Cuban artist Wifredo Lam. For its sensual geometry and force of color, the work has been also associated with Cuban modern artist Amelia Peláez. Of great historical significance is the fact that Herrera was the first artist to use acrylic paint in Europe as early as in 1948, and Iberic is an early demonstration of her use of this new material in art.

Iberic, Carmen Herrera (Cuban, Havana 1915–2022 New York), Acrylic on canvas on board

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