The youngest of the “Beat” artists in the Ferus group that included John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Billy Al Bengston, Craig Kaufman, Ed Kienholz and Ken Price , GEORGE HERMS is today a leading figure of the California Assemblage movement. As the creative body on the scene, he utilizes the mindlessly tossed “trash” and makes it meaningful. He puts it all together and signs it with
L O V E.
JAKE: For Boehme and Einstein
He became serious about his art career after seeing Wallace Berman’s work. George assisted in the hanging of Berman’s famous Ferus Gallery Semina show (in which Berman was arrested for displaying “lewd” works), and felt that Berman turned the gallery into a kick-ass center! Berman became mentor to George.
George Herms first exhibition in 1957 was a “secret exhibition” attended only by Berman and Walter Hopps (co-founder, with Ed Kienholz, of the Ferus Gallery). Forty-eight years later, Hopps curated George Herms: Hot Set, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2005.
George has a passion for poetry and music - especially classic jazz, echoed in the subjects and tempo in his work. The Dodo Marmarosa series (2003) of wall mounted assemblages was dedicated to that great pianist. Walter Bentley was created from a resurrected tennis racket. 92 Ore’s political overtones has many nuances, while Coming Attractions employs an eccentric mixture of materials and lettering.
In the Academic Collage series (1982-83), created during his year as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, George used trunk lining, old cloth, Italian magazine clippings and layers of old posters stripped off crumbling Roman walls to create collages that are a journal of his experiences. They convey the flavor, the environment, the streets, the color - the tenor of Rome. Shifting to home-base in Los Angeles, his ‘morning-coffee filter’ collages use contemporary headlines as fodder.
Cool good humor, insightful wit and gentle personality shape Herms’ work. He aptly signs his work with ‘L O V E’ stamps; for George, art-making is his way to spread LOVE. Come - be seduced.
Search (Watercolor/Collage Series)