Some monochrome and some multi-coloured, Federico Herrero’s abstract paintings reference the tradition of Colour Field painting, as well as the intense and bright colours of Latin American artists from the Tropicália movement, such as Hélio Oiticica. As support for his paintings Herrero uses canvases, “volumes” made of concrete or wood, and the public space: high-rise facades in São Paulo, bridge piers in Colombia, or the Venice Biennale’s crumbling Arsenale wall, for the design of which he received the “special prize for young artists” in 2001, at only 21 years of age.
Though probably best known for his multi-coloured painting, Herrero has been working with monochrome colour fields since the beginning of his career. First they appeared when he re-painted yellow traffic lines and let them expand beyond their original borders. Later, he covered bare brutalist concrete sites in sky blue paint. These interventions, especially in socially disadvantaged areas, have quite a utopian approach. The pale blue colour stands for freedom, clarity of mind and emptiness, for a certain balance, and ultimately for piece. The aim here is to immerse the viewer and alter their perception of space.
This project was realized jointly with Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo and Proyectos Monclova, Mexico.