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COLLEEN
HERMAN

THE
NATURE
OF
NATURE


On view through December 18, 2021

Abstract art is a symbolic game, and it is akin to all human games: you have to get into it, risk and all, and this takes a certain act of faith. But what kind of faith? Not faith in absolutes, not a religious kind of faith. A faith in possibility, a faith not that we will know something finally, but a faith in not knowing, a faith in our ignorance, a faith in our being confounded and dumbfounded, a faith fertile with possible meaning and growth.

Kirk Varnedoe from Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Jackson Pollock (The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts)


L’editions is thrilled to announce “The Nature of Nature,” a solo exhibition by New York-based artist, Colleen Herman. This is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery – Herman’s first in our temporary Los Angeles brick-and-mortar space. As indicated by the exhibition’s title, the works herein are a deep dive as if into the very molecules humming through the natural world.

Herman’s abstractions originate at the buzzing meeting points of the artist’s body, her spiritual experience of our environment, movement, music and the manifold energies released through art making and exchange. For this group of paintings, which vary across applied media and support structures, Herman reconsidered the organic order of earth time, the literary cycles of the seasons – both of which have provided the literal and metaphorical armatures for so much of the meaning of our lives.

Molecularly speaking, positive and negative charges produce a churning, roiling swarm of movement daily across the planet, round and round, dark into light into dark into light infinitely. Herman says of this group of paintings: “These pictures record nothing but a Subjective Experience – at the moment of painting them.” The artist channels her emotional and energetic output into material color form, bubbling from the ends of fingertips onto linen and wood board. Herman’s practice in the studio represents a lively perforation through the mundane membrane of workaday life. These shoots, like stems, bloom with mood-altering form and tone. In Herman’s framework, a flower is every bit as much an opportunity, a connective emblem, as it is a seed-bearing plant. This is not the project of postmodern cynicism, but rather of Varnedoe’s passionate insistence that abstraction is as much a language intrinsic to our mind-body complex as that of “real” or “representational” illusionistic space. For Herman, in keeping with a Varnedoeian vision, perception is not a riddle to be solved, but an impression to open us out and out and out to more experience and feeling and thought.

At the center of “The Nature of Nature” are three towering canvases covered edge to edge in the artist’s signature molasses-deep meconium-green, across which thunderous vibrations of color pop and zip. These are the night energies, the reproductive functions in the belly of the bog. From inside of this chrysalis, our eyes move to lighter-hued compositions of widely varying scale. The cumulative effect is symphonic (belying the artist’s interest in synesthesia), both in the sense that the artist’s visceral and indexical markings evoke musicality and in the sense that the audience is enveloped with emotive color in the same way that the symphony envelops with sound.

Time is another core notion at play in “The Nature of Nature.” Herman’s color palette for the exhibition emerges from a consideration of seasonal personality, though here unencumbered by the crushing march of linear time. That is to say, instead of reading as a narrative or as a lifespan, Herman’s time sprays outward from a single wellspring, fanning perpetually in every direction. We are immersed in Herman’s mood of time (her “nature of nature,” as it were), the space around us whirling and spiraling in fecund offering.



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Jóga, Deep Swim, Moved, Moves, Moving










Deep Swim, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
84 x 48 in panel/84 x 144 in








Jóga, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 60 in







Three Sisters, Lumine, Promenade









Three Sisters, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
65.5 x 42 in





Lumine, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
82 x 70 in











Promenade I, II, III, IV, V










Promenade I, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 48 in



Promenade II, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 48 in










Promenade III, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 48 in



Promenade IV, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 48 in














Promenade V, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
60 x 48 in



Amaranthine, 2021
Acrylic & gouache on canvas
24 x 30 in



Intimation,
2021
Oil on wood panel
16 x 20 in














Night Hikes, In the Field, Perpetua









Night Hikes, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
48 x 72 in



In the Field, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
48 x 42 in









Perpetua, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
48 x 72 in





















Towards the Sun, 2021
Oil on wood panel
30 x 22 in




Tree Tops, 2021
Oil on wood panel
12 x 9 in
















Monet (from) Memory, Moved, Moves, Moving














Monet (from) Memory, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
24 x 30 in


Pompon, 2021
Oil on wood panel
35 x 24 in







Murmur, 2021
Oil on wood panel
35 x 24 in








Perpetua, Felicity, Sommor












Sommor, 2021
Oil on wood panel
24 x 18 in









Burgeon, 2021
Oil on wood panel
30 x 22 in



Lion’s Mane, 2021
Oil on wood panel
24 x 18 in









Felicity, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
48 x 72 in















Tempest, 2021
Oil on linen
14 x 11 in






Nosegay, 2021
Oil on linen
12 x 9 in



Nightfall, 2021
Oil, acrylic & gouache on canvas
30 x 24 in







Efflorescence, 2021
Oil on wood panel
40 x 30 in



Salve, 2021
Oil on wood panel
24 x 18 in









Moved, Moves, Moving









Moved, 2021
Oil on canvas
48 x 42 in 


Moves, 2021
Oil on canvas
48 x 42 in










Moving, 2021
Oil on canvas
48 x 72 in 






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