NEW ORLEANS (September 16, 2021)- As New Orleans’ public art installations continue to evolve, Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation (PCSE) remains a staple within the Central Business District. The outdoor, public exhibition, spanning Poydras Street between Convention Center Boulevard and South Claiborne Avenue, is the south’s leading rotating sculpture exhibition. The Corridor expands with the addition of five new sculptures by local and internationally-renowned artists, kicking off with New York-based Carmen Herrera’s Untitled Estructura (Red) on September 20 and continuing with installations throughout the fall.
Courtesy of Lisson Gallery, which has locations in New York, London, and Shanghai, Herrera’s Untitled Estructura (Red) is a sharp-edged eight-foot-tall, cantilevered sculpture made of acrylic and aluminum. Herrera’s monumental sculptures have only recently been realized, with painting being Herrera’s primary medium for most of her long and illustrious career. The 106-year-old artist’s first presentation of Estructuras Monumentales was in City Hall Park in New York courtesy of Public Art Fund. It was most recently sited in Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for New Orleans to welcome an artist of international acclaim. I have been hoping to work with her since seeing her solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2017, and am elated the time has come,” says William Pittman Andrews, Executive Director of Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Curator of PCSE. “On one hand, her experience as a woman in the art world resonates with the tendency for perseverance and resilience in our community, after all, she was 89 years old when she sold her first painting. On the other hand, her Cuban heritage incorporates influences of Caribbean culture with her lifelong dedication to formalism as an American artist. The creation of these sculptures is a crowning achievement that we are proud to take part in bringing to New Orleans, with gratitude to our partners the City of New Orleans, Lisson Gallery and The Helis Foundation who made this installation possible.”
What: Installation of Carmen Herrera’s Untitled Estructura (Red)
When: Monday, September 20, at 10am
Where: Intersection of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue, Riverside
“I’m honored that my work has been selected as the first new addition to the wonderful art collection of New Orleans. I’d like to extend my thanks to The Helis Foundation for presenting Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition, and hope that many locals and visitors are able to enjoy this work and the other sculptures to be unveiled,” said Carmen Herrera.
Information on the four additional sculptures being installed this fall will follow in the coming weeks.
PCSE is a collaboration between The Helis Foundation, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, and has featured over 36 sculptures on Poydras Street by renowned regional and international artists over the years. The Helis Foundation is the sole funder of the exhibition. Upon completion of the five installations this fall, the exhibition will showcase 13 active sculptures.
About Carmen Herrera:
Core to Carmen Herrera’s work is a drive for formal simplicity and a striking sense of color. Herrera began the sketches and preparations for her Estructuras (Structures) in the late 1960s, around the same time that key Minimalism sculptors including Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Barnett Newman were early in their exploration of the medium. Of the shift from painting to sculpture Herrera has noted: “It became clear to me that the linear elements in my work required a hard surface to integrate structurally the “hard edges”.” These works marked an important moment in Herrera’s career, wherein the forms move from drawing, to painting, to sculpture, and her meticulous sharp edges are physically manifested. Her first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures took place in City Hall Park, New York, NY, organized by Public Art Fund in 2019 and traveled to Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston in 2020.
Carmen Herrera was born in Havana, Cuba in 1915. She moved frequently between France and Cuba throughout the 1930s and 1940s before settling in New York in 1954, where she continues to live and work.