°1978, San José (CR) - lives and works in San José (CR)
Federico Herrero’s practice stands outside Latin America’s Conceptual, muralist, and geometric abstraction traditions, yet his work references all of these styles. Herrero’s images are often populated by patches of colour, alien-like figures, and disembodied eyes, and reveal a fascination with crossing boundaries. The artist blurred the line between public and private, for example, in an intervention titled Fictional Publicity (2000), in which he hung small paintings all over his native city; some remained in place for days, others vanished after just a few minutes. For the Havana Biennial (2003), Herrero transgressed national borders by painting Mappa Mundi at the bottom of a public pool, allowing Cuban swimmers to imagine themselves roaming the globe.
Herrero also questions the spatial boundaries of museum and gallery interiors, taking an installation-like approach to the presentation of his work in such contexts. The artist’s 2008 exhibition at Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany, for example, paired conventional paintings on canvas with stripes and patches of colour painted directly onto the interior architecture. The artist’s fascination with limits is evident, too, in the canvases—small bubbles of bright colour sometimes peep from behind the primary subject, as in Blue Mountain (2008), or seem to stare curiously at the viewer, as in Green Landscape with Nine Circles (2008). Herrero’s work is essentially a study of liminal spaces—gaps between figure and background, canvas and wall, private and public, and (perhaps most significantly) between work and viewer. The forms and colours in his paintings also capture the energy of urban Costa Rica and its vibrant tropical setting.
(courtesy of Guggenheim Museum)
Recent solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Witte de With, Rotterdam; 21st century Art Museum, Kanazawa; Proyectos Monclava, Mexico City: and Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Herrero’s work was included in group exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; or Musee d’ Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Federico Herrero also participated in the biennales of Venice, Havana, Mercosul, Moscow and Singapore – among others.
Herrero’s work is in the permanent collection of numerous institutions including the Tate Modern, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York
Federico Herrero is represented by the following galleries,
click through to discover more of his work.
Federico Herrero - Under the Same Sun, 2016 by South Londen Gallery
Federico Herrero - Paisagem, at Bienal de Medellín in 2007
Federico Herrero - Installation view from ‘Vibrantes’, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver in 2011 b
Federico Herrero - Installation view from ‘Vibrantes’, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver in 2011
Federico Herrero - Exhibition view at Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico in 2020
Federico Herrero - Exhibition view of Desordem Alfabética, at Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo in 2015