This is the first portrait show to be hosted at magpie and the final solo exhibit of the season for the gallery. It is going to be delightfully out of the ordinary.
Herrera was born and raised in Oakland, California where he studied at the College of Arts & Crafts. His talent was recognized early on. He was awarded the William Rice Scholarship for Summer Study 1957-59 and continued on to the Academy of Art in San Francisco where he was awarded a full scholarship from 1962-64.
Since 1991, Herrera’s studio and residence has been in Taos. He taught Figure Drawing at the UNM, 2002 - 2005. Herrera has been an important part of the Taos Art community and has participated in group shows including Taos Invites Taos, Taos Fall Arts, Artes Descartes, UNM Taos shows and Pressing On for the most part since their inception.
Notable exhibits in the past 20 years include an exhibit of large paintings with allegorical subject matter shown at UNM's Harwood offices, a retrospective solo exhibit at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, exhibits at Fremont Gallery in Pasadena, Rod Hubble Gallery in Santa Fe, Sage Fine Art, and Hensley Gallery Southwest. Herrera was involved in The Taos Society of Portrait Artists which was founded in 2000 by Seamus Berkeley. They met every Saturday for three-hour sessions in various studios and museums such as The Millicent Rogers and Fechin House, outdoor yards, and other venues over the years. Participants included notable Taos artists Seamus Berkely, Tom Rogers, Sal Giglio, Kristine McCallister, Larry Torrez, George Chacon, Libby Hart, Elizabeth Jose, Adeana Carlyle, Tom Rogers, Joceline Martinez, Margery Reading, Jane Grover, Wendi Beauford, Ron Barsano, Nancy Delpero, Dwarka Bonner and Randall LaGro. These talented artists often took turns posing for the group. All of the portraits in this show are a result of Herrera’s time with them and feature some incredible renderings of local favorites.
From the Artist: “Michelango wrote, 'nor does God, in His grace, show himself to me in any other aspect more clearly than in a beautiful human veil; and that form alone I love, for in it He is mirrored.' And, as Titan wrote, 'The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting.' Detailed observation is required to convey not only the visage but also the character of the subject of a portrait. The ability to analyze the very subtle variations that define a face, as well as the translation of those features onto a canvas and subsequent need for corrections, adjustments, is a gift which is developed through practice and repetition. Decades of figure drawing and portrait painting have provided me the opportunity to hone these skills, a challenge which I love.” -Lawrence J Herrera