George Herms, Joseph Conrad and The Librarian April 21, 2012 – Tags: assemblage, Beat Generation, Books in Art, George Herms, sculpture
57 x 63 x 21 in. (144.8 x 160 x 53.3 cm)
George Herms emerged from the heart of the Beat Generation to become one of the founding artists of the California Assemblage movement. Three years after assembling his first piece or “junk sculpture” he began a series of works based on real people and places.
One of the first pieces in the series and now considered one of his most important was The Librarian.
During a visit to the local library in Larkspur, California where Herms lived for a year he met a librarian who introduced him to the works of Joseph Conrad. Both Conrad and the librarian went on to have an enormous influence on the artist.
Along with various found material The Librarian is composed of decaying books that Hermes retrieved from the dump. The piece now resides at The Norton Simon Museum.
Another piece by Hermes in their collection worth mentioning is his 1994 piece The Book of Perfection.
George Herms page at Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center
Here is a short audio clip where Herms describes a real librarian’s reaction to The Librarian