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.
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Artist:Carmen Herrera (Cuban, Havana 1915–2022 New York)
Medium:Acrylic on canvas on board
Dimensions:40 in. (101.6 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of Tony Bechara, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary, 2019
the artist, Paris and New York (1949–2004; on June 13, 2004 to Bechara)
Birmingham. Ikon Gallery. "Carmen Herrera," July 29–September 13, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 14; dated 1948–52, lent by a private collection, New York).
Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern. "Carmen Herrera," January 23–May 2, 2010, unnumbered cat.
London. Lisson Gallery. "Carmen Herrera," February 1–March 3, 2012, no catalogue (lent by Tony Bechara).
New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight," September 16, 2016–January 9, 2017, unnumbered cat. (pl. 6; Private Collection, lent courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery).
Columbus, Ohio. Wexner Center for the Arts. "Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight," February 4–April 16, 2017, unnumbered cat.
Düsseldorf. K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight," December 2, 2017–April 8, 2018, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making The Met, 1870–2020," August 29, 2020–January 3, 2021, unnumbered cat. (fig. 258).
Isobel Harbison. "Carmen Herrera." Frieze no. 126 (October 2009), ill. p. 214 (color).
Abigail McEwen. "The Practice and Politics of Cuban Abstraction, c. 1952–1963." PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2010, pp. 271–72, fig. 44.
Ann Landi. "Shaping Up." Art News 109 (January 2010), p. 69, ill.
Simon Hattenstone. "Portrait of the Artist." Guardian (December 31, 2016), ill. p. 31.
Randy Kennedy. "Art 'Like Cuts in Space'." New York Times (September 11, 2016), ill. p. 4AR.
Sarah K. Rich. "Portfolio: Carmen Herrera." Artforum 55 (October 2016), p. 210, ill. p. 211 (color).
James Gardner. "Art on the Line." Weekly Standard (December 19, 2016), p. 38.
Dana Miller. Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2016, pp. 18, 38 n. 22, p. 224, colorpl. 6.
Gerardo Mosquera in Dana Miller. Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2016, p. 47.
Lindsay Pollock. "Editor's Letter." Art in America 104 (December 2016), ill. p. 18 (color).
Scott Indrisek. "More Nothing Less." Modern Painters 28 (June/July 2016), p. 88, ill. p. 86 (color).
Laila Pedro. "Carmen Herrera with Laila Pedro." Brooklyn Rail (September 2016), ill. (color).
Abigail McEwen. Revolutionary Horizons: Art and Polemics in 1950s Cuba. New Haven, 2016, p. 156, fig. 84 (color), dates it 1951.
Ariella Budick. "Carmen Herrera at the Whitney Museum." ft.com (September 30, 2016), ill. (color).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2019, p. 421, ill. (color).
Max Hollein. Modern and Contemporary Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2019, ill. pp. 4, 103 (color, overall and detail).
Federica Pozzi et al. "How Do You Say 'Bocour' in French? The Work of Carmen Herrera and Acrylic Paints in Post-war Europe
." Journal of Cultural Heritage 35 (January–February 2019), pp. 209–17, Table 1, fig. 4 (color), present the technical results of a systematic study of the artist's materials and techniques for five paintings dated from 1948 and 1942.
Max Hollein inGifts of Art: The Met's 150th Anniversary. Ed. Jennifer Bantz et al. New York, 2020, p. 7.
Iria Candela and Brinda Kumar inGifts of Art: The Met's 150th Anniversary. Ed. Jennifer Bantz et al. New York, 2020, pp. 132, 198, ill. (color).
Max Hollein inMaking The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer with Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, pp. 239, 257, fig. 258 (color).
Iria Candela in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2018–20, Part II: Late Eighteenth Century to Contemporary." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 78 (Spring 2021), p. 35, ill. (color) and ill. front cover (color detail).
Max Hollein in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2018–20, Part II: Late Eighteenth Century to Contemporary." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 78 (Spring 2021), p. 3.
Federica Pozzi et al. "A Pioneer of Acrylic Painting: New Insights into Carmen Herrera's Studio Practice." Heritage Science 9, no. 131 (2021), pp. 1–5, 14–20, figs. 1, 10, 11, table 1, discuss the results of research into the artist's Parisian artistic production and the findings from technical imagery.
Oliver Basciano. "Carmen Herrera: Cuban-born Painter and Sculptor Known for her Geometric Abstraction." Guardian (February 16, 2022), p. 7.
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