George Herms: Lymphatic Vessels and Monoprints Celebrating the Life and and Art of Bruce Conner

Lymphatic Vessel (Blue Circle), 2008, Assemblage sculpture, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 8 in.

Coach, 2008, Assemblage sculpture, 18 x 10 1/2 x 9 in.

Cruiser (Drawering), 2008, Assemblage sculpture, 17 1/2 x 21 x 8 in.

Lymphatic Vessel I, 2008, Assemblage sculpture, 9 x 8 x 6 in.

Lymphatic Vessel II, 2008, Assemblage sculpture, 11 x 10 x 6 in.

Press Release

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Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present the work of George Herms, “Lymphatic Vessels and Monoprints celebrating the life and art of Bruce Conner.” A reception for the artist will be held Thursday evening 16 October 2008 from 6 to 8 PM.

George Herms was a poet living in Los Angeles. In the mid-Fifties when asked to read one of these poems in public, he was so overtaken by stage fright that he became a sculptor. Herms began to make objects on which to mount his poems so they might be exhibited rather than read. The process of writing and art making were remarkably similar in Herms’s mind. Cobbling together bits and pieces of little value or meaning on their own, he created an eloquent whole and a singular voice.

George Herms was a founding member of the California assemblage movement and is one of America’s great artists. Wallace Berman, Ed Kienholz, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti numbered among his friends and peers. Bruce Conner called him a “spontaneous genius”. The materials of Herms’s art are not beautiful or rare on their own. They are the refuse of our civilization which are redeemed in Herms’ hands, as are we. Asked to consider a rusted bit of twisted metal or the burnished leather of an ancient camera case, we can’t help but turn a fresh eye to our world with renewed attention and appreciation.

George Herms made his first solo exhibition in 1957, a half decade later he continues to make transformative works of art and writing. Having recently completed a free jazz Opera, “The Artist’s Life”, Herms was inspired to make this series of monoprints using the original score as his template. Here the monoprints are accompanied by sculptures, or lymphatic vessels. Act I of the Opera is set in the Artist’s studio. These lymphatic vessels serve as props, perhaps. The late Bruce Conner is present, certainly.

The exhibition will be on view at Susan Inglett Gallery located at 522 West 24th Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212.647.9111, fax 212.647.9333 or info@inglettgallery.com.