Carmen Herrera - Editions & Works on Paper New York Thursday, June 27, 2024 | Phillips
  •  “There is a subtlety, an intensity in the way two colors relate to each other.”
    —Carmen Herrera

    Carmen Herrera, best known for her hard-edged canvases of expertly balanced geometric abstraction, came to collaborate with professional printshops later in life, in part spurred by her late-career mainstream success. Though she spent over 50 years prior exploring the relationship between color and form through painting and sculpture, Herrera did not receive significant recognition until the mid-2000s. Similarly, while she had experimented with printmaking in classes at the Brooklyn Museum in the 1940s, Herrera did not published her first print until the 1990s, at which point she was already in her late 70s; in her lifetime, she only published approximately 20 editions. The portfolio Verde y Negro was one of her first collaborations with New York printshop Universal Limited Art Editions, representing the beginning of a fruitful late-career partnership.


    Using vibrant green and black and her signature crisp lines to create structurally contrasting chromatic plates, Verde y Negro pulls from the vernacular developed across Herrera’s prolific, 70-year artistic career. Published in 2017 at the age of 102, Verde y Negro further proves the artist’s unwavering dedication to pursuing what she called her quest “for the simplest of pictorial resolutions.” Following this mission, Herrera continued to publish abstract prints with ULAE utilizing an array of techniques, including aquatint, relief, screenprint, and lithography, until 2021 - just a year before her death in 2022 at the age of 106.

     “There is nothing I love more than to make a straight line. How can I explain it? It’s the beginning of all structures, really.”
    —Carmen Herrera

    Furthering her later mainstream success and the significance of Verde y Negro, Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo selected a plate from the portfolio to be included as part of their Color & Rhythm Collection in 2019, a partnership between the retailer and the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the museum’s expansion. Verde y Negro was chosen specifically for its strong representation of Herrera's body of work and the Neo-Concrete movement at large, a testament to the artist’s career-defining, singular vision of abstraction. A portfolio of commanding dichromatic compositions, Verde y Negro cements Herrera’s legacy as a central figure in the pantheon of geometric abstraction.

    • Artist Biography

      Carmen Herrera

      Cuban / American • 1915

      At the age of 101, Carmen Herrera is finally receiving long-deserved recognition for her arresting, hard-edge geometric compositions. Born in Cuba in 1915, Herrera has spent most of her life outside the island, permanently settling in New York in the mid-1950s. Herrera was formally trained as an architect at the Universidad de la Habana, and later completed studies at the Art Students League in New York from 1943 to 1945. During this time she became acquainted with key figures of postwar abstraction including Barnett Newman, whose work undoubtedly influenced Herrera's minimalist aesthetic.

      Herrera's work is chiefly concerned with formal simplicity and experimentation with bold color. Through the use of sharp lines and stark color contrasts, she creates dynamic and technically sophisticated compositions that reflect movement, balance and symmetry.

      View More Works


Verde y Negro (Green and Black)

The complete set of three lithographs in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins.
all I. 15 x 12 in. (38.1 x 30.5 cm)
all S. 21 1/4 x 17 1/2 in. (54 x 44.5 cm)

All signed and numbered 10/20 in pencil, published by Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York (with their blindstamp), all framed.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $27,940

Contact Specialist

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 27 June 2024