Amy Kaslow Gallery | Mimi Herbert

By East City Art Editorial Team on June 5, 2024

Thu, June 6 2024 — Sun, July 21 2024

Detail of Zohar by Mimi Herbert, formed acrylic, 8″ x 29.5″ x 24.5″. Photograph courtesy of Amy Kaslow Gallery.
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 6 from 6-7:30pm

Mimi Herbert’s mesmerizing manipulation of acrylic gives us sinuous, elegant shapes that catapult her medium to exquisite fine art. Today this 86-year-old pioneer lives and works in the Washington DC, area, drawing from decades-deep expertise maximizing her environment with local materials. She was a prize winning bronze caster in India, a 3-D illustrator in Indonesia, a Life Drawing master in El Salvador, and far beyond. Creating in her circa 1970s contemporary woodland home studio, Herbert says she’s driven “by a very vivid imagination.”

FOLDS is an eleven piece collection of the artist’s recent works, some big, all bold, celebrating her twists, tucks, and creases in zestful colors. She often piles separate elements, but it is her solid and translucent combinations that have a spellbinding effect. The neon’s edges lead the viewer around the design like race car tracks.

Every sculpture begins its life on paper, with Herbert draughting her designs on blank newsprint, then gathering it up to create elevations, pleats, flips and turns. After selecting a color, she places an acrylic sheet on a vast light table filled with dozens of high intensity bulbs calibrated to heat the material so it’s pliable enough for shaping. It takes Herbert and another pair of trained and trusted hands to lift, push and prod the plastic into the percise shapes the artist has carefully modeled. Herbert has turned out major museum works from the homemade contraption. Commissioned for America’s Bicentennial by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, she created four massive flags, among them a 165-foot-long banner!

Well known for her emblematic drape of the venerable Corcoran (among America’s first art museums) the artist is also celebrated for her tailored modern squares and rectangles. Slightly puffed and folded, these are clean, smooth, and monochromatic , and carry that Washington Color School minimalism that had gained important traction, locally and across the globe. Among the finest of these is the artist’s signature “Red Triplet,” 1974, on display at the National Gallery of Art’s new Atrium.

Mimi Herbert’s mesmerizing manipulation of acrylic gives us sinuous, elegant shapes that catapult her medium to exquisite fine art. Today this 86-year-old pioneer lives and works in the Washington DC, area, drawing from decades-deep expertise maximizing her environment with local materials. She was a prize winning bronze caster in India, a 3-D illustrator in Indonesia, a Life Drawing master in El Salvador, and far beyond. Creating in her circa 1970s contemporary woodland home studio, Herbert says she’s driven “by a very vivid imagination.”

FOLDS is an eleven piece collection of the artist’s recent works, some big, all bold, celebrating her twists, tucks, and creases in zestful colors. She often piles separate elements, but it is her solid and translucent combinations that have a spellbinding effect. The neon’s edges lead the viewer around the design like race car tracks.

Every sculpture begins its life on paper, with Herbert draughting her designs on blank newsprint, then gathering it up to create elevations, pleats, flips and turns. After selecting a color, she places an acrylic sheet on a vast light table filled with dozens of high intensity bulbs calibrated to heat the material so it’s pliable enough for shaping. It takes Herbert and another pair of trained and trusted hands to lift, push and prod the plastic into the percise shapes the artist has carefully modeled. Herbert has turned out major museum works from the homemade contraption. Commissioned for America’s Bicentennial by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, she created four massive flags, among them a 165-foot-long banner!

Well known for her emblematic drape of the venerable Corcoran (among America’s first art museums) the artist is also celebrated for her tailored modern squares and rectangles. Slightly puffed and folded, these are clean, smooth, and monochromatic , and carry that Washington Color School minimalism that had gained important traction, locally and across the globe. Among the finest of these is the artist’s signature “Red Triplet,” 1974, on display at the National Gallery of Art’s new Atrium.

Herbert’s work is also in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Museum, The National Gallery of Art, Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and more, along with private collections worldwide. A distinguished scholar, Herbert’s intellect and artistry have been enriched over the years by Fulbright, Ford Foundation, US Government, American University, University of Pennsylvania, and Syracuse University grants.

They are delighted to host Mimi Herbert’s first gallery exhibition in more than a decade.

Amy Kaslow Gallery
7920 Norfolk Avenue
Bethesda, MD