Roger Herman

Roger Herman
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The Los Angeles based artist Roger Herman was born and educated in Germany before moving to California in 1977. Beginning his career creating paintings of phenomenal proportion, Herman was christened as the West Coast parallel of the eighties neo-Expressionist movement.

In the mid-1980s Herman was offered a position in the art department of UCLA, a position he continues to hold today. He is often credited as being the transformative force that took the art department from an overlooked backwater into one of the most in demand art programmes in the United States. Since then Herman has contributed to the rise of several West Coast artists and, according to the artist Cyril Kuhn, ‘every painter in the last 30 years who has come out of Los Angeles owes a debt to him’.

In 1998, Herman rethought the direction of his work and began to work in clay. Taking lessons from one of his students, Herman cast some 500 pots whilst perfecting his technique. His early ceramics were figurative in nature, featuring drawings of women engaged in sexual acts in the style of Japanese erotic prints. His later works veer more towards abstraction in form and design, though the human body remains a constant source of inspiration.

His painterly beginnings remain apparent in his approach, as he treats each pot as a blank canvas on which he layers brush strokes, using dashes, lines and splodges to build texture as well as colour. Fascinated by the way that the firing and glazing processes affect the colour, Herman found freedom in this medium, seeing it as fundamental to his development as an artist.

Herman has exhibited his work in galleries across the world and is held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). His work has featured fairs such at Frieze New York, Design Miami, and Art Los Angeles Art Contemporary. He has also participated in numerous group shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Museum Ludwig, Saarlouis, Germany, and the Art Museum of São Paulo, Brazil among others.

Selection of Works

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  • The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.
  • The Orange County Museum of Modern Art, Newport Beach, CA.
  • The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MI.
  • The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.
  • The Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
  • The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.
  • The Museo del Arte Contemporanea, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • The Robert Rifkind Collection.
  • The Gordon Hampton Collection.
  • The Eli Broad Collection.
  • The Dallas Price Collection.
  • The Gruenewald Center at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
  • The Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
  • The Albertina, Vienna, Austria.
  • DAAD Grant from Germany
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants

Artists Information