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Aspen Art Museum


Carmen Herrera

Camino Negro
Acrylic on paper
19 ½ x 27 ½ in (49.5 x 69.9 cm)
Kindly donated by the Estate of Carmen Herrera and Lisson Gallery
Estimate: $100,000 - 200,000 USD

About this Work

Carmen Herrera’s (1915 – 2022) paintings strive for formal simplicity and a striking sense of colour: “My quest”, she said, “is for the simplest of pictorial resolutions” (2012). A master of crisp lines and contrasting chromatic planes, Herrera created symmetry, asymmetry and an infinite variety of movement, rhythm and spatial tension across the canvas with the most unobtrusive application of paint. As she moved away from biomorphism towards pure, geometric abstraction during her time in Paris in the 1940s, she began making shaped, elliptical and tondo canvases, in addition to pioneering the use of solvent-based acrylic paints in post-war Europe. By the mid-1960s she had experimented with much reduced palettes, pairing black or green with white – “like saying yes and no” – before leaving the picture plane entirely and beginning work on her first Estructuras, a series of sculptural works occupying the wall, floor and the public realm, which also paid homage to her earlier training in architecture.

About the Artist

Carmen Herrera was born in Havana, Cuba in 1915. She moved frequently between France and Cuba throughout the 1930s and 1940s; having started studying architecture at the Universidad de La Habana, Havana, Cuba (1938–39), she trained at the Art Students League, New York, NY, USA (1942–43), before exhibiting five times at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1949–53). She settled in New York in 1954, where she lived and worked until her death in 2022.

Herrera’s work was the subject of a large-scale survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2016), which travelled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, USA (2017) and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20), Düsseldorf, Germany (2017–2018). Herrera has also had significant solo exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, USA (2020); Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Germany (2010); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2009); and Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA (1998).

Herrera’s work is in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA; El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, USA; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, USA; the Tate Collection, London, UK; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20), Düsseldorf, Germany; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Austin, TX, USA; and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, USA.

How to Bid:

Bidding on this work takes place at the ArtCrush gala on Friday, August 4th, at 8pm MT. Absentee and telephone bidding available - please contact for more information, including a condition report.

There is no Buyer’s Premium and the difference between the mid-estimate and the winning bid is a tax deductible donation to the museum.