A 101-Year-Old Artist Finally Gets Her Due
Back in the 1950s and ’60s, Carmen Herrera was making art, but her male counterparts were getting all of the attention. Now, at 101, she’s still hard at work, and finally getting some long overdue recognition. For most of her career, Herrera’s paintings of brightly colored geometric shapes went unnoticed, while her male counterparts — Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella — got plenty of attention for similar work. Herrera finally made her first sale at 89. And now, at 101, it seems she’s getting her due at last. The Cuban artist’s work can be seen at the Tate in London, MoMA in New York, and she has an exhibition coming to the Whitney Museum of American Art in September. “It helps that they recognize you — that your work is not going to go to the garbage,” Herrera says. That’s kind of a surprising statement considering that in the 1940s, Herrera was exhibiting her work next to Piet Mondrian, and was part of a community of artists in Paris exploring the boundaries of painting and sculpture. Other artists who found acceptance and a reputation in Europe also languished in the U.S., but Herrera, who is not much of a self promoter, had more working against her, says Alex Logsdail of the Lisson Gallery. Herrera kept working because she felt compelled to make art — and she’d rather people focus on that. For a still-working artist who made her first sale at the age of 89, having two shows in the same year is a vindication.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.