Carmen Herrera sculpture at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens continues its focus on contemporary outdoor sculpture with its forthcoming exhibition, Carmen Herrera: Estructuras, by the Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera. From May 4 – September 3, 2023, five colorful, geometric Carmen Herrera sculpture pieces will be featured throughout Cheekwood’s 55-acre botanical gardens. The three-dimensional installations manifest the artist’s signature crisp edges and hard lines to create a striking contrast between the sculptures and the surrounding gardens.  

Carmen Herrera sculpture is known for evoking a simultaneous sense of instability and order, encompassing symmetry and asymmetry, shadow and light. Movement and rhythm are conveyed through a balance of lines, forms and color. The three-dimensional series is a collection of bold, colorful geometric forms found in Herrera’s paintings, Blanco y Verde, created in the 1960s. The design was eventually realized in three dimensions in 1971 as sculptures in wood.

The five monumental aluminum Carmen Herrera sculptures, Angulo AzulEstructuras (Yellow), GeminiTres and Estructura Verde, created between 2015 and 2022 represent the culmination of the artist’s translation of her 1960s paintings into three dimensions.  

Born in 1915 in Havana, Cuba, Herrera developed an interest in art at an early age and continued to foster her passion while studying architecture at Universidad de La Habana. After marrying Jessie Loewenthal, an American professor, the two moved to New York where she studied at the Art Students League in New York City.

Though creating art all her life, Herrera’s work was relatively overlooked until 2004, at the age of 89, when on display at the Latin Collector Gallery. Curators were quick to praise her art and it was featured in museums worldwide including the MoMA, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Tate Modern in London, as well as in a traveling exhibition throughout Europe.

Carmen Herrera died at age 106 in February 2022, leaving behind a legacy of renowned work.   

Cheekwood is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and advanced reservations are required. 

About Cheekwood   

With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood in Nashville is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries.

The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture.

Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS.

Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodor’s as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South.

Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season.

Check cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission. 

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