George Herms, Irvine, CA, 2011. Photograph courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sue Henger. All art work © 2014 George Herms.
Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present LOVE George Herms, an installation of collages and sculpture by Beat-generation master George Herms. Curated by Sarah C. Bancroft, this is Herms’ first exhibition in Texas since 2002. The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 7 with a public reception from 4-6 pm, and an artist-curator talk at 4:30 pm. In conjunction with the presentation at testsite, Herms will conduct a screening and lecture at UT Austin on Thursday, September 4th at 5pm (Art Building auditorium, room 1.102).
The presentation at testsite will feature a small selection of the artist’s celebrated found-object sculptures and assemblages, and several collages from the past decade. Many of the collages are comprised of timeworn ephemera—envelopes, letterhead, receipts, mailers, announcements—collected from the past five decades. With the patina of age, these materials document the history of the artist’s own career and influence. (The materials used are largely remains of the culling and documentation of the artist’s papers by The Getty Research Institute, future home of the Herms archive). Reflecting Herms’ location in Southern California, other collages recycle the saturated advertising imagery found in local glossy society rags and luxury magazines. Regurgitating high-keyed images of fast cars, expensive jewelry, exotic natural imagery and haute couture clothing, Herms has created abstract delicacies of intricacy and beauty. The selection of small-scale sculptures on view reveal the artist’s deft wit and facility with at-hand materials that he combines with language (in text and title) to compose gentle, unexpected masterpieces. The project at testsite includes the assemblage Seitz(2011), a tribute to the brilliant curator, art historian and artist William “Bill” Seitz, whose early exhibition The Art of Assemblage first brought Herms national and international acclaim. Additional assemblages in the exhibition were created as gifts for close friends and family, and reveal the artist’s unique humor and working process through the brilliant if idiosyncratic coalescence of text with thought, emotion and form.