FEDERICO HERRERO | Acordeón de luz

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Acordeón de luz, 2019
Oil and acrylic on canvas
Signed verso top right FH2019 in ink
86.63 x 78.75 x 2 in.


The artist

Federico Herrero sees paintings everywhere, from street curbs and traffic signs to the painted trees and stones which proliferate in his native San José, Costa Rica. It is this examination of how color, shapes and signs define the urban environment that is vital to his practice as a painter. In his works, which range from small canvases to immersive installations and monumental public murals, primordial planes of vivid color shift and settle into irregular shapes. Herrero views painting, at any scale, as a process that is continuously evolving and never complete. Informed as much by the tradition of color-field abstraction as by the surreal landscapes of Roberto Matta, Hélio Oiticica’s Tropicalia, graffiti and urban signage, Herrero creates exuberantly-colored installations and paintings that activate the environments they exist within.

The loosely-geometric shapes that populate Herrero’s work have, in recent years, become larger and less graphically suggestive. This distillation of his formal vocabulary enables Herrero to explore the sensory properties of place through the consideration of sound, weight, and energy of color. As Herrero notes, “I tend to think of color as sound and volume, or give it properties like weight.”

Federico Herrero (b. 1978, San Jose, Costa Rica) has exhibited widely internationally, with solo exhibitions and public installations in São Paulo, Brazil; San Francisco, CA; Dusseldorf, Germany; Kanazawa, Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; Freiburg, Germany; and London, UK. Recent major institutional projects include Tempo aberto, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, São Paulo (2019); Open Envelope, Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2018); and Alphabet, a site-specific installation for the atrium of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018). Herrero was the recipient of the Young Artist’s Prize at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and his work is in the permanent collection of numerous institutions including the Tate Modern, London, UK; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. Herrero is also the founder of Despacio, a contemporary art space in his native San Jose, which is an important force in the continued development of Central America’s artistic voice. He lives and works in San Jose, Costa Rica.