october 2016

Pipe Dreams: George Herms Salutes OCCCA

Humorous, poetic and profound, the West Coast master of junk assemblage, George Herms, will be exhibiting at OCCCA October 1 - 29, 2016.

Opening Reception October 1, 6-10pm, Free


Saturday night Jazz Concert Fundraiser, October 22 at 8:00 PM
Souvenir George Herms sculpture included in the ticket price (limited to 35 pieces).

The Bobby Bradford Motet will perform live in the Santa Ana Artists Village, Saturday night, October 22 at 8:00 PM --- in a concert to benefit the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art on the occasion of the exhibition Pipe Dreams: George Herms Salutes OCCCA. Herms personally invited Bradford, a long-time friend and associate, to play this gig to raise money for OCCCA, the artist-run alternative space Herms helped create.

One of the most original trumpet/cornet players to emerge from the avant-garde, Bobby Bradford is a celebrated jazz musician, composer and teacher, noted for his work with the Ornette Coleman Quartet and with clarinetist John Carter. In October 2009 Bradford became the second recipient of the Festival of New Trumpet Music's Award of Recognition.

A souvenir George Herms sculpture will be included in the ticket price for the first thirty-five prepaid ticket holders entering OCCCA when doors open at 7:30 PM. Prepaid tickets to this extraordinary fund raising event are $45.00 each --- $50.00 on the night of the performance --- and are not tax deductible.






Exhibition Statement:

Humorous, poetic and profound, the West Coast master of junk assemblage, George Herms, will be exhibiting at OCCCA October 1 - 29, 2016.

Approximately fifty works by Herms will be on view in OCCCA’s galleries, most dating from the years 2014 through 2016 and not previously exhibited.

The legendary curator Walter Hopps placed George Herms in a dazzling continuum of assemblage artists that includes Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, and Joseph Cornell.

Honored in prestigious exhibitions and retrospectives, during his long career George Herms has refused to be tamed --- despite fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim; grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation; and even the Rome Prize, for sculpture.

To understand his pivotal position in art history as a Los Angeles link to the Neo-Dada of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg --- as well as an apostle of the nascent counterculture of the 1960s --- one need look no further than to the ground-breaking Museum of Modern Art, New York exhibition, “The Art of Assemblage” (1961) and its widely-read catalog authored by William C. Seitz. George Herms’ piece, The Poet, occupies an entire page opposite the important nouveau réaliste, Daniel Spoerri. With its rusted klaxon and bundled pile of old papers, The Poet is both celebratory and elegiac. George Herms was then only 26 years old. The gravity of his insouciance has fascinated the art world ever since.

George Herms is especially significant to OCCCA because in 1980, while a professor of art at Cal State University Fullerton, he inspired a group of graduate students to create an exhibition venue of their own, similar to the new “alternative spaces” popping up at that time in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in reaction to the exclusionary policies of the major museums. Against all odds, this artist-run space was destined to thrive into the 21st century.

In 2000, for the benefit of future art historians, the Getty Research Institute acquired the George Herms Archives. The artist has stated that this exhibition at OCCCA is even nearer and dearer to his heart. After all, OCCCA only exists because of his initial benediction. When OCCCA opened its doors in 1980, its young founders were empowered by the radical advice of their patron saint, George Herms: “Don’t wait around for museums and galleries to give you an exhibit,” he told them. “Take matters into your own hands!”


Press Mentions:

George Herms,
ArtScene, By Mario Cutajar, October 1, 2016

George Herms at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art,
Art & Cake, By Patrick Quinn, October 15, 2016


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