Los Angeles

George Herms

Molly Barnes Gallery

The metaphoric title of George Herms’ first exhibition in several years is “Wooden Moonbeams,” a title which might be derived from one of Herms’ own poems. The objects exhibited are intimate in scale and quite formal in organization. “Wooden Moonbeams” are built on smallish square pieces of wood, divided along the diagonals to form an “X” shape. The structure is painted in a flat color, usually black, and the four triangular “rooms” are populated with objects selected both for their appearance and powers of literary evocation.

One of the best such pieces is Wooden Moonbeams No. 7 and 8, subtitled Madonna and Child. A small silver moonbeam nestles in one quadrant of a large black moonbeam. The other quadrants are sparsely ornamented with objects which glisten and glitter—among them a glass reflector, and a sealed beam headlight mounted upside down.

Herms would seem to have become more contemplative and less polemical, with materials used more for their appearance than as expressions of angst. The exhibition is a quiet one and the recognition of found objects within made structures is a pleasant experience. “Love,” both as word and idea, is much in evidence in these constructions.

Thomas H. Garver