Arts & Culture

Howard Sherman: “Metaphysical Batman”

Artist Howard Sherman explains the latest shift in his work, augmenting his explosive abstract paintings with cut-and-torn paper formations. The exhibition "Metaphysical Batman" is on view through November 27 at McMurtrey Gallery.


With each new series of works, Howard Sherman pushes a personal boundary. He augments his signature style–explosive abstraction mixed with grotesque figurative motifs and seasoned with hidden text–with a new layer that deepens the experience of the work, while at the same time retaining the qualities viewers have come to expect from Sherman. With “Metaphysical Batman,” he uses thick paper which is crumpled, torn, cut and slathered in ultra-colored acrylic, adding a powerful three-dimensional sculptural element that mimics vinyl, fabric and even metal. As always, Sherman offers a nugget of vague context with his witty titles, like “The culture of easy pleasure,” “Sportsmanship is for suckers,” and the show’s titular philosophical superhero, reminding us that contemporary art needn’t be cold and mysterious. It can be loud, rude and fun.

The artist spoke about his new pieces with Houston Public Media’s Troy Schulze.