Howard Hersh

A principal Tantric belief within Buddhism and Hinduism holds that we are all byproducts of a Universal Intelligence, which gives birth to and is intertwined with the entire creation as we know it. Given that is so, we and everything around are indistinguishable parts of that divine intelligence, much like a drop of water is distinct from and yet a part of the ocean.

The idea of non-separation at the essence of all things is central to the art work of Howard Hersh.

“My artwork is a reflection of my personal philosophy. An overriding theme is that of no separation. Whether between the natural and the man-made, different cultures, religions, or nationalities; I believe everything is connected and inter-related. As my work is visual – the words are in the titles – it has become my challenge and goal to communicate a philosophy of connectedness.”

In other words, Hersh’s work is all about the natural synergy between the natural and the man-made world, which shares a universal energy.

Over the years, Hersh has followed a lifelong passion for nature and beauty, which is clearly reflected in his art:

“In my paintings, I have strived to assemble and depict relationships – art, nature, architecture, and spirituality: a world we create, and a world by which we are created. I hope that my life and my art are part of this beautiful, yet mysterious process.”

The works of Howard Hersh at Slate Gray are hybrids: they straddle the two-dimensional universe of conventional painting and the 3D world of sculpture, setting up a dynamic tension that animates each of his creations. As much deconstructed as constructed, Hersh’s works seem suspended in time, yet implicitly open to change:  it is therefore four-dimensional, in a sense, like Cubist paintings, with their multiple views and perspectives. Representations of the flux of time and self?

Hersh created the pieces, developed from a deep dive into the nature of painting itself, using acrylic paint on birch and basswood.

“I am questioning the notion that paintings exist as pictures of something – illusions – while sculptures exist on their own as objects. Because I love making things as well as paintings, and so I wanted to deconstruct painting and push my work closer to ‘Objecthood.' The wall structures exert themselves as objects, encapsulating as well as supporting the paintings."

Howard Hersh is a third-generation artist who has exhibited his work widely around the country. Along with 60 solo shows and 200 group exhibits, the artist is featured prominently in public spaces in the United States, Japan, China, Indonesia, and Africa.

Hersh’s influences include German painter and photographer Sigmar Polke: German Gwerhard Richter, who has produced both abstract and photorealistic paintings; American painter, sculptor and photographer Cy Twombly; and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.