José Lerma in Seeking Knowledge: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, University Park, FL
Art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora gifted by Gamaliel R. Herrera
As a child growing up on the campus of Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, Dr. Gamaliel R. Herrera developed a keen interest in art and philosophy. While pursuing his own education, Herrera began collecting contemporary art, focusing on several Puerto Rican artists whose philosophical inquiries inform their work. This exhibition celebrates Dr. Herrera’s generous gift to the Frost Art Museum, featuring works ranging from landscapes to abstract compositions.
This new core collection for the museum includes works by Myritza Castillo, Wilfredo Chiesa, José Lerma, Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Melvin Martinez, Gamaliel Rodriguez, Julio Rosado del Valle, Noemí Ruiz, Quintín Rivera Toro, and Miguel Trelles. These artists share thematic nodes that connect their different practices. Noemí Ruiz’s enigmatic abstract forms suggest a built environment while Gamaliel Rodriguez interrogates connections between power and architecture. Wilfredo Chiesa’s expressive abstract composition shares an aesthetic sensibility with Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painters while Melvin Martinez layers and deconstructs paint in vivid colors to draw attention to art’s material qualities.