Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artist Arturo Herrera's new works on paper and wall painting, on view at Sikkema Jenkins, display vibrant explosions of pattern, color, and fragmented imagery. Herrera's collages "juxtapose a myriad of cut-out and painted elements into a wholeness that is continually in flux and without hierarchy," (from the show's press release). The artist takes images culled from the pages of books, magazines, newspapers, coloring books, and more and crops them tightly so the original subject is barely discernible and places them alongside figures and shapes carefully painted and crafted from construction paper or found materials.
Like hundreds of shards taken from multiple shattered images, Herrera gives the pieces new meaning by assembling them into indecipherable, abstract compositions with generic monikers like Bob, Jack, and Peter. Herrera's kaleidoscopic works will sometimes offer viewers identifiable clues—a forehead, blond hair, a limb—among the sea of fragments and forms, yet no straightforward narrative. "All the works display a tactile quality that reinforces the dynamic struggle between referentiality and the desire for a concrete reality." Rich, detailed, and ambiguous, each of Herrera's works deserves a long, sweeping exploration. Learn more at Sikkemajenkinsco.com. Through March 5th.