In her studio

Cuba-born artist Carmen Herrera still creating at (almost) 101

Carmen Herrera at her studio in New York. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

An interview with Carmen Herrera ahead of her 101st birthday next month took place in the artist’s East 19th Street home and studio, and celebrates the painter’s process, 81 years after she sold her first piece. “I’ve painted all my life. It makes me feel good,” she told the New York Times.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1915, Herrera studied architecture in the 1930s and spent long periods in Paris during the 1940s, where she developed her signature bold style of color-block paintings. She has lived in the same New York apartment for 49 years and spent 61 years married to her husband, who died in 2000. It wasn’t until she was in her eighties that the world took notice of her art, but Herrera is having a prolific year: her show at Lisson Gallery opens May 3 and the Whitney Museum of American Art will showcase Herrera’s work in a solo exhibition in the fall.

The artist’s work habits have changed as she aged, with the onset of shakier hands and less overall mobility. Herrera now requires help composing large-scale projects and paintings and has a close team of associates who provide such aid. The New York Times explained the stages of her process and gives choice takeaway quotes from the still-saucy artist, like her thoughts on Ellsworth Kelly, who she knew way back in the day: “I like his work, but I didn’t like him,” Herrera recalled. “He was kind of eeeehhhhh.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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