MFA Summer Lecture Series: Oliver Herring

CBS Auditorium

The MFA in Studio Art program presents its 19th Annual Summer Lecture Series featuring noted visiting artists, faculty and alumni June 24 - August 14. For more information, contact MFA Program Director Erin Boyle at or MFA Program Coordinator Gwendolyn Kurtz at

Born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1964, Oliver Herring currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from the University of Oxford, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, England, and an MFA from Hunter College, New York. Herring’s early works were woven sculptures and performance pieces in which he knitted Mylar, a transparent and reflective material, into human figures, clothing and furniture. These sculptures, which evoke introspection, mortality and memory, are Herring’s homage to Ethyl Eichelberger, a drag performance artist who committed suicide in 1991.

Since 1998, Herring has created stop-motion videos and participatory performances with people “off the street.” His sets for his videos and performances are made with minimal means and materials, recycling elements from one to the next. Herring’s videos have a dreamlike stream-of-consciousness quality; each with a finale that is unexpected or unpredictable. Embracing chance and chance encounters, his videos and performances liberate participants to explore aspects of their personalities through art in a way that would otherwise probably be impossible. In a series of large-scale photographs, Herring documents strangers’ faces after hours of spitting colorful food dye—recording a moment of exhaustion and intensity that doubles as a form of abstract painting. Herring’s use of photography takes an extreme turn in his series of photo-sculptures: for these works, Herring photographs a model from all possible angles, then cuts and pastes the photographs onto the sculptural form of his subject

Herring has received grants from Artpace, New York Foundation for the Arts and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, all in New York. Recently Herring has had exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Kyoto Art Center and the Denver Art Museum. Over 70 TASK parties have been held all over the world and two books on his work have been published: Oliver Herring: Me Us Them and Oliver Herring: TASK.

Hamilton Hall
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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