Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera reaches new milestone at 104

From our Bureau of Spectacular Achievements

Carmen Herrera

My father’s cousin Carmen Herrera keeps breaking records at the age of 104.


From Architectural Digest:

At 104 years old, the time has come for Carmen Herrera to own the spotlight. The Cuban-born painter and visual artist known for her vibrant, minimalist works has long been making art—some 70 years—but has only recently begun to receive the proper recognition she deserves.

Herrera sold her first work of art just 15 years ago, and in 2016 was finally the subject of a solo show at a major museum (the Whitney in New York). Now, for the first time in her decades-long career, five of her three-dimensional sculptures will be exhibited outdoors by Public Art Fund in City Hall Park in a show titled “Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales.” The show, which opens July 11 and runs through November 8, allows the artist to incorporate the environment into her work in a way that she has never done before.

“These large-scale works were broadly conceived in the ’60s, with one or two new forms from the last 15 years,” says Alex Logsdail, executive director of Lisson Gallery, which represents Herrera. “Carmen has been wanting to realize these for a very long time. Conceptually they’ve been in New York forever, they’ve just never been seen. It’s a beautiful moment.”

After living in postwar Paris, where Herrera developed her craft, the artist settled permanently in New York in the ’50s and became close friends with Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, among other prominent artists. But regardless of her artistic companions, Herrera was largely overlooked until her 80s. “Being a female Cuban painter was a very hard thing at that time,” says Logsdail. “People didn’t believe that women could paint. There was a lot of anti-Cuban sentiment. It was a very challenging time to be Carmen Herrera.

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Angulo Rojo, City Hall Park, Manhattan

1 thought on “Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera reaches new milestone at 104”

  1. “There was a lot of anti-Cuban sentiment.” You don’t say. Like prejudice? Bias? Bigotry? That sort of thing? Do tell. Was that just because she was Cuban, or because she wasn’t the “right sort” of Cuban–you know, the kind the New York Times goes for? But aren’t New Yorkers supposed to be above and beyond such backward small-mindedness? Oh, wait, there’s the Cuomo creep, and the Wilhelm, I mean “de Blasio” asshole, so…never mind.

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