new-york

George Herms

Tony Shafrazi Gallery

Although the critical reception of their work in the Whitney Museum’s recent exhibition on the Beat generation has been distinctly cool, the group of artists who began working with assemblage and collage in California in the ’50s constitutes an important parallel, and to some extent a predecessor (Clay Spohn’s pathbreaking Museum of Unknown and Little Known Objects in fact dates from 1949), to the better-known “neo-Dada” manifestations in New York (e.g., Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Allen Kaprow) and Paris (e.g., Yves Klein, Daniel Spoerri, Mimmo Rotella). These diverse artists both extended and contested the direction of postwar abstraction by questioning the autonomy of the esthetic object and exploring what Rauschenberg called “the space between” art and life.

This selection of George Herms’ work in collage, assemblage, and sculpture (actually there is no real difference in his

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