Tag Archive | City Hall Park

Carmen Herrera Estructuras Monumentales in City Hall Park

Angula Rojo
All Photos By Gail

Cuban American Geometrical Abstract painter Carmen Herrera (b. 1915, Havana) waited a very long time to get her hard-earned props from the art world. The artist’s first career retrospective, 20162017 Lines Of Sight at New York City’s Whitney Museum finally provided a showcase for her minimalist, color field paintings, alongside a selection of her geometric, monochromatic sculptures — which she simply calls Estructuras (Structures). While it’s disappointing to realize that, at 104 years of age, Carmen Herrera isn’t quite a household name, the NYC-based Public Art Fund is doing its part to expose her works to a wider audience by sponsoring Estructuras Monumentales, Herrera’s first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures, which are currently on view in City Hall Park. This park is a short walk from my office, to so I walked over on my lunch hour to check it out.

Angula Rojo

Herrera’s Estructuras series of sculptures, informed by her architectural training, date back to the 1960s with a group of diagrammatic sketches. She envisioned large-scale monochromatic sculptures that would extend the experience of her luminous paintings into three dimensions. Until recently, these historic proposals have remained unrealized. With Estructuras Monumentales, this remarkable artist is now able to share her powerful structures with public audiences for the first time. Here are the five structures located in City Hall Park.

Angula Rojo

Herrera still paints and creates every day, but Angul Rojo (2017) is the first Estructura that she has designed in more than three decades. Its red chevron composition conveys movement and rhythm with a bold dynamism reminiscent of many of her most iconic paintings.

Pavanne

Herrera originally conceived Pavanne, (1967/2017) as a monument to her younger brother, Mariano, who was then dying of cancer. The three tightly fit, interlocking elements of this solemn work encourage quiet contemplation, while the title references the musical term for a slow processional dance with funereal overtones.

Pavanne

Amarilla Tres

Amarillo Tres, 1971/2018. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Herrera began to work with a carpenter to translate her drawings into wooden sculptural Estructuras. That resulted in the important smaller Azul ‘Tres’ (1971), on which this monumental Estructura is based. Herrera was forced to temporarily halt this endeavor when the carpenter she worked with passed away and the grant stipend that had supported the work began to dwindle.

Amarilla Tres

Estructura Verde

Estructura Verde (1966/2018) most clearly expresses the evolution from Herrera’s paintings to her Estructuras. Her breakthrough Blanco y Verde (196667) series of paintings on canvas created long, acute wedges of dark paint among white expanses. This sculpture translates and inverts that arrangement, with two bold green interlocked L-shaped forms, which encompass slivers of negative space, incorporating the sculpture’s surroundings into its dynamic composition.

Estructura Verde

Estructura Verde

Untitled Estructura (Red)

Untitled Estructura (Red), (1962/2018). Carmen Herrera’s Estructuras can be appreciated for their formal poetry, yet they can also be seen in the context of her life. In October of 1962, the confrontation between the United States and Cuba escalated to the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which Herrera and her husband Jesse Lowenthal were deeply involved in helping friends, family, and refugees escape the conflict. The overhanging cantilevered arrangement of this Estructura might abstractly allude to the tensions between Herrera’s adopted and native countries at the moment she conceived this work.

Untitled Estructura (Red)

Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales, Curated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer, Will Be On View in City Hall Park (Located in Lower Manhattan) Through November 8th, 2019.

Angula Rojo

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Punch Me Panda: The Video!

Geoffrey follows the Twitter feed of performance artist Nate Hill. As part of his “Best Art Show 2011″ project, Nate is known for Tweeting a specific location, at which he will show up at a predetermined time and share his latest inspired performance with the unsuspecting people of NYC. Gonzo! As a prelude to our semi-regular Thursday night art crawl, Geoffrey suggested that we meet up at the corner of Barclay and Broadway, just outside City Hall Park, at 5:30 PM, where Nate would show up as “Punch Me Panda.Neither one of us had any idea what this meant, but we agreed it would be a fun surprise. At 5:30 PM sharp, Geoffrey called out to me, “I see the Panda,” which was our signal to stake out a safe vantage point to observe the action as Nate-Dressed-as Panda strutted around the vicinity and enthusiastically invited passersby to punch him in the gut (as you can see by the photo above, he was well padded for this activity). The results were both frightening and hilarious, as confused folks just trying to get home from a day at the office either obliged Nate with a few impromptu punches, hurried past as if a six-foot tall Panda were invisible or ran away in terror! Happy Fun! The entire performance lasted about 15 minutes and was completely amazing. After Nate’s “performance,” Geoffrey chased him down the street so he could get a picture for his blog. I caught up with them a couple of blocks away and was able to meet Nate sans Panda head and tell him how much I enjoyed his art. He was really nice! Good luck Nate on your next adventure on the streets of New York. Follow Nate Hill on Twitter @nateXhill.

See the video that Geoffrey shot below:

Direct Link is HERE (as the embeded video seems to keep disappearing)

More pictures and commentary can be found at According to G Dot Com.