January 05, 2017

Seeing the Lines

Carmen Herrera (2013)
On the last day of last year I went with a friend to the Whitney Museum of American Art (The Whitney) for Carmen Herrara’s exhibit “Lines of Sight” closing on January 9, 2017.  The Whitney is a capacious setting for art as it sits at the southern end of The Highline with phenomenal views of its neighborhood including the Meatpacking District, Chelsea. On a clear day you can see beyond the Freedom Tower down the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty.  The visual lines of connection here are phenomenal. Architect Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop moves through history and place to create this transformational space with its scaling outdoor terraces where art installations merge with the city skyline.  “Architecture is that art, the poetry of construction. Every building is a story.  Every building tells a story,” says Renzo Piano.  

On my first visit in January 2016 it was the Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist exhibit and also sculptor Elizabeth Catlett’s work is in the permanent collection moving my attention.  I discovered that The Whitney had returned to the neighborhood of its origins, rejoining local artists and galleries in a downtown Manhattan community among the oldest neighborhoods in New York while also opening its doors to a neighbor, Cuban artist Carmen Herrera.  At 101 years old, Herrera continues to live and work from her modest apartment where her studio is just beyond the living room. 

Herrera emerges with a global intergenerational futuristic lens where her creativity continuest to progress through daily practice. Herrera's work with color and form create artistic lines of connection as her work and life also offer a few notes on well-being:
  • Herrera’s vocation is painting.  It’s important to work at your raison d'etre.
  • Aging in place with family and friends for support is a strategy for healthier living.  Herrera has lived in her apartment for 49 years.
  • Across life span learning new things never grows old, Herrera is an avid reader, she studied architecture in Cuba and trained as an artist in Paris and New York. 
As you start another new year what will you construct in your life to live well?  Do you or will you make time for a creative practice?  Share your experience.

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