American, born Venezuela, 1959
In Untitled, Arturo Herrera combines thick, black fragments of previously executed abstract motifs with the softness of graphite and comical gesture on a background of coffee-stained paper. Throughout his body of work, Herrera has continually explored the process of staining, using consumable beverages like tea and coffee—the latter a well-known export of his native Venezuela—to create unpredictable results. In the work here, the warm brown of the coffee stains may be a nod to the drawing’s partial subject, Bambi. Through the black segments, linear drawings of this docile, cartoon mammal’s legs serve as a point of entry for the viewer. Overall, there is a decided gentility to this work that contrasts with the graphic nature of Herrera’s cutout and collaged works.
Label from Arturo Herrera: Little Bits of Modernism, December 12, 2014–April 5, 2015