philadelphia

Georg Herold

Laurence Olivier Gallery

Georg Herold’s work describes a world where uncertainty is certain and meaning is hard to nail down, a world where the artist, by his sheer persistence and good humor, is the one who can (barely) hold it all together. Herold has strong ties to his own cultural and esthetic heritage, particularly to Joseph Beuys and to Sigmar Polke. Beuys’ legacy was the poetry of the material world; Polke provided the humor with which to approach it. In addition, Stephen Ellis makes a convincing case for the bearing Herold’s East German origins have on his work, accounting for what is elusive and cautious in Herold’s approach—the heightened sense of formal reserve of this work. These qualities speak most clearly in this exhibition, binding together what is humorous, sometimes political, and often ironic in Herold’s art.

Most of the pieces exhibited here announce the artist’s resistance to specific categories

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