12 September to 11 October 2008

Joel Herman
1926, 1977, 2007

Through appropriation and transformation, Herman's work functions by displacing and reconsidering a diverse array of historical and artistic elements. His work stems from the notion that how we remember the past is always in flux. It is these changing views and shifts in attitudes that are the subject of his work. The body of work that he is showing at Diaz Contemporary deals specifically with examples of geometric abstraction from Modernist art and design. For instance, using a 1926 letter stencil designed by Josef Albers, Herman created a series of abstracted plastic stencils, reconfiguring the geometric components of the design. In appropriating past artistic works and ideas, Herman's aim is to consider this material not as part of a resolved historical moment, but as something more fluid. In another project on view, Herman used charcoal collected from a bonfire on the site of Donald Judd's abused sculpture project in Muenster. With this charcoal, he produced a suite of ten drawings that recreate a series of prints also by Judd. In this way, the strategy of appropriation that Herman is engaged with is not purely a critique of authorship but a strategy to consider a more complex relationship to the past.

Toronto-based Joel Herman received his MFA at the University of Guelph in 2008. He completed his BFA at the University of Victoria in 2004. Recent exhibitions in Toronto include: University of Guelph MFA Program Exhibition at Birch Libralato (2007) and Proof at Gallery 44 (2006).