George Herms: The Artist's Life

Caitlin Johnson


As part of the ramp up to Pacific Standard Time, George Herms, one of the founders of California assemblage who has many close ties with the Beat Generation, welcomed audiences into both his life and the present moment over three performances at the REDCAT. Accompanying the performance were two jazz ensembles, an opera singer, a rotating spiral staircase, large bronze buoy, projections of his work, live and recorded video, and a variety of other audio and visual treats.

What started out as strange and foreign, if not slightly jarring and chaotic, Herms coaxed the audience to appreciate, respect and finally celebrate through his ad-libs, old diary excerpts, spontaneous art-making, and life lessons. Forget the gallery space. This is the context in which Herms’ work was meant to be enjoyed.