George Herms Biography

George Herms




George Herms was born in Woodland, California in 1935.  During World War II, Herms was sent by his parents to the College of Engineering at Berkeley, which he left after approximately six weeks when "the football season was over." Around 1955, he met artist Wallace Berman, and poet and printer Robert Alexander who introduced him to the world of the emerging 50s Beats in Los Angeles  The direction of his life was changed forever and Mr. Herms began to make art.

During the late 1950s, Herms resided in a number of different cities in California, including Berkeley, Larkspur and Hermosa Beach before returning for a short period of time to Topanga in Los Angeles in 1961. In 1959, Herms became an original member of Bruce Connor's Rat Bastard Protective Association.

Herms is best known for making assemblages out of discarded, often rusty, dirty or broken every-day objects, and juxtaposing those objects so as to infuse them with poetry, humor and meaning. In 1961, his work was exhibited in the group show, "The Art of Assemblage", at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1962, Herms's work was on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in an exhibit entitled "Fifty California Artists".  His sculpture is requisite in all major art museum holdings as representative of the California assemblage movement, the work is exhibited and collected extensively.

George Herms's work is included in the museum collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.  Mr. Herms was featured in 1995 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the exhibit "Beat Culture and the New America, 1950-1965".  He was also featured at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark exhibit "Sunshine and Noir", which traveled to the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum of Art in October of 1998.

Herms has never limited his curiosity, and has explored poetry, film and theatre, as well as drawing, painting and sculpture.  In the 60's he began publishing woodcuts and books of poetry on a small hand press he named The LOVE Press.  Herms has published the writings of the poets Michael McClure, Diane diPrima and Jack Hirschman.

His awards include: Three Individual Fellowshipsfrom The National Endowment for the Arts; the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture; the Prix de Rome, Fellowship in Sculpturefrom The American Academy in Rome; and the 1998 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Award.

George Herms currently resides in Los Angeles, California.