Roger Herman's (b. 1957 in Saarbücken, Germany, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) ceramics and canvases harmonize a cacophony of styles. Shifting between abstraction and figuration, vivid palettes and dark hues, glossy surfaces and matte earth tones, the artist’s pieces are united by a gestural rawness and spontaneous vibrancy. Drips of paint run down the exterior of hefty vessels, whose sides are sharply cut with irregular peepholes and freckled nubs of glaze that lend a haptic sensuality. Herman’s imagery--drawn equally from pop culture and and art historical tropes--reads like an archeology of styles: manga, erotica, surrealism, Paleolithic cave paintings. Like an exquisite corpse, the only prevailing constant is the randomness of choice, the embrace of chance with an inexhaustible curiosity for the renewing nature of the painting process in itself.
Herman has shown widely in the United States and Europe. Solo exhibitions include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Museo del Arte Contemporana, Mexico City. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; MoMA P.S. 1, New York; the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Museum Ludwig, Saarlouis, Germany; and Art Museum of São Paulo, Brazil.
Herman has been on faculty for the department of painting and drawing at UCLA since 1990. He was also the co-founder of the Black Dragon Society in Los Angeles from 1998 – 2008. In 2019, Herman will be included in a survey show of contemporary American artists working with ceramics at the National Museum in Sêvres, France. In 2020, he will be included in an exhibition at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.