Colleen Herman: Hot House
5229 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90027
Wednesday, February 15 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends Mar 25, 2023
“This new body of work comes from tending and tilling our fertile soil. Rowing and raking, feeding and fondling, turning over and over so the growth is luxuriant, verdant, technicolor. This indoor garden doesn’t require external forces like good weather and sun; this is an inner vision that grows out of self-reliance and fortitude.” - Colleen Herman Sarah Brook Gallery is pleased to announce “Hot House,” a solo exhibition by New York-based artist, Colleen Herman. The exhibition is comprised of eleven oil paintings on linen and canvas. Herman characterizes the show as a natural outgrowth of her last exhibition with the gallery, “The Nature of Nature,” as both feature marks of pure abstraction mixed with gentle signifiers of flora as well as indexical flurries. The show’s title refers to greenhouse plant-growing operations, which can be conducted regardless of the exterior weather or season. Like the bulging node on a plant stem from which several leaves eventually burst forth, hot houses are concentrations of energetic potential within closely controlled parameters. Herman’s large-scale works reflect the concentration and activity (both subterranean and apparent to the naked eye) of the hot house. Works like Entangled (all works 2022-23) invoke imagery of tall grasses sweeping across the currents of a stream, flowers dotting the space around. At the same time, the paintings represent a cacophony of mark-making that easily dislodges itself from the natural world, connecting instead to Herman’s post-war predecessors (Joan Mitchell most directly). This shifting in and out of representations of the outside world is an echo of the artificiality of the hot house, in which flora are both executing their natural lifecycles and yet are also spared the unpredictable ravages of the larger world. The paintings, as with hot house botanicals, are an exercise in pushing against internal boundaries to extract a visual dialogue. Most of the paintings in “Hot House” contain an oxblood-colored pool-like form, most centrally featured in Blood Bloom. These burgundy elements act as deeply grounding forces in the work: an ancient, coded plasma. Where the canvases in Herman’s previous show, “The Nature of Nature,” emitted a buoyant exuberance, the constituents of “Hot House” are darker, richer and more weighty. In an artwork like Eos, there is a dense concentration of activity taking place, apropos of the hot house - plant life pouring forth in busy harmony from so much focused human intention and attention. Also evident is Herman’s dedication to a process of experimentation and intuition, honoring new impulses at the same time that she codifies previous ones. This seeking belies the artist’s dedication to the nurturing and creative instincts of women’s lineage, metabolizing what worked in the past but , equally, making space for innovation and for the evolution that is always unfolding in the seed population. Colleen Herman was born in 1982 in Baltimore, MD. She earned a BFA from Syracuse University in 2004. Herman completed an artists’ residency at Casa Balandra in Mallorca, Spain in 2022, as well as the Pocoapoco residency in Oaxaca City, Mexico two years in a row: 2018 and 2019. She has exhibited internationally in addition to regular shows in Los Angeles and New York, where the artist currently lives and works. For more information, please contact
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