The Librarian, 1960

George Herms (born 1935) is an American artist best known for making assemblages out of discarded, often rusty, dirty or broken every-day objects, and juxtaposing those objects so as to infuse them with poetry, humor and meaning. He is also known for his works on paper, including works with ink, collage, drawing, paint and poetry. The prolific Herms has also created theater pieces, about which he has said, "I treat it as a Joseph Cornell box big enough that you can walk around in. It's just a continuation of my sculpture, one year at a time." Legendary curator Walter Hopps, who met Herms in 1956, "placed Herms on a dazzling continuum of assemblage artists that includes Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, and Joseph Cornell, as well as California luminaries Wallace Berman and Edward Kienholz." Often called a member of the West Coast Beat movement, Herms said that Wallace Berman taught him that "any object, even a mundane cast-off, could be of great interest if contextualized properly." "That’s my whole thing," Herms says. "I turn shit into gold. I just really want to see something I've never seen before." George Herms lives and works in Los Angeles.

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