Artist Profile

George Herms

b. 1935

George Herms was born in 1935 in Woodland, California. In 1955, Herms entered University of California, Berkeley, with high scores in engineering, but he was more interested in poetry and art. That year he met artist Wallace Berman and poet and printer Robert Alexander in Topanga Canyon. Meeting these artists became central to the development of to own artistic expression. Herms gradually moved from writing poetry to making art objects through assemblage with gathered, discarded objects. The influence of found objects began in Herms’ childhood; writer Rebecca Solnit points out, “Herms remembers his mother’s junk drawer, a way station for anything and everything that didn’t have a clear use or place, as an important inspiration.” More recently, poet Charles Simic recalls Herms’ studio as an “incredible clutter . . . . The dream of every discarded work glove, spoon, dress dummy, and bent bicycle wheel is to find itself in one of his constructions.”



Works in Our Collection

George Herms
Pound Box–A Tableau
Mixed media assemblage, 1981
69 1/2 x 46 x 22 inches
Gift of the estate of Dr. John Menkes in his honor

George Herms
Anonymous (Hymn Delight)
photograph on redwood board, 1963
23 x 7 1/2 x 4 inches
Gift of Marianne Zlotnick from the Collection of Diana and Harry Zlotnick

George Herms
Coin Gold
Mixed media assemblage, c. 1962
38 x 36 x 9 inches
Gift of Diana Zlotnick, Los Angeles, California