A pioneer of assemblage sculpture who came of age as an artist at the heart of the Beat Generation, George Herms transforms discarded, mundane objects into poetic sculptures that exemplify the Beat aesthetic of open, free-form association. Herms likens his works to jazz, claiming: “The feeling I get when leaving a jazz club is how I want people to feel when they leave an exhibition of mine.” Like a jazz riff, Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, or Jack Kerouac’s stream-of-consciousness novel On the Road, Herms’s sculptures are both loose and exquisitely structured. In Faucet (1995), for example, he builds a small tower out of various scraps of wood and metal, topped with an old, rusted faucet, creating an effectively coherent whole out of discordant parts.
George Herms: Five Decades of Madness
Art Basel Miami 2010