Untitled (Double Castle/Orange)

2005
Arturo Herrera (Venezuelan, born in 1959)


Dimensions

66 1/2 x 97 5/8 inches

Accession Number

2006.1253

Medium or Technique

Paint on cut paper with mixed media collage

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Mixed media

Balancing figuration and abstraction, Herrera’s work rouses the subconscious of his viewers and evokes the inner workings of memory itself. Untitled (Double Castle/Orange) interweaves silhouettes of early Disney cartoons engulfed by a tangled web of abstract strands, hand-cut from grey and white paper and posed against a red and white checkered ground. These strands often recall the gestural abstraction of Jackson Pollock’s allover paintings though their composition is meticulously planned rather than improvised. Triggering a perplexing effect of partial déjà vu, the parapet of a castle tower, puffy clouds, and the tapering lump of a seven dwarf’s hat sit just below the surface, scarcely decipherable. While Untitled (Double Castle/Orange) does not directly exhibit the charged sexual imagery of some of Herrera’s other works, it depicts an obliquely disturbing scene. In this respect, and in its cartoon-like imagery, the piece may be compared to the work of Kara Walker’s, The Rich Soil Down There (2005.339). Similar in the meticulousness of their cutout collage technique, these two artists also complement one another in their interest in collective memory and in the body as a site of physical suffering and pleasure.

Provenance

The artist; with Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; to the MFA, Boston, June 21, 2006

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by the Robert M. Rosenberg Family Fund, Alexandra and Max Metral, Eloise and Arthur Hodges, Audrey and Jim Foster, Judith and Bruce Eissner, Carole and Edward Rudman, and Marvin and Ann Collier