Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia


About the Exhibition

Woodmere proudly presents an exhibition of the work of Philadelphia-based, Venezuela-born artist Henry Bermudez. The exhibition, guest curated by Gaby Heit, is the most extensive exploration to date of Bermudez’s art, including approximately 40 works and chronicling the artist’s experience since arriving in Philadelphia as an immigrant and seeker of political asylum in 2003.
As a young artist in Venezuela, Bermudez built a successful international career. While still in his thirties, he represented Venezuela at the XVII Venice Biennale (1986). In 2003, however, Bermudez learned while traveling in the United States that the political regime in Venezuela had determined that his art expressed ideas that threatened authoritarian cultural objectives. With a friend in Philadelphia who was able to give him temporary shelter, he began his journey as an immigrant, coming to terms with a dramatic twist of fate and the need to build a new life and career in the US. Since that time, his work has continuously evolved. Connections to the mythological subjects and visual strategies of his Venezuela-based work remain, but his art today also reflects the rupture of displacement and the culture of Philadelphia.
Although he began his career as a painter, Bermudez now experiments across a variety of media. He incorporates painting with cut paper in large-scale works that display a density of intertwined, three-dimensional forms, rainbow-like color, patterning, and sparkling textures. While his compendium of aesthetics continues to evoke ancient Latin American mythologies and a hybrid of symbols and religious lore from pre-Hispanic, Judeo-Christian, and Afro-Caribbean influences, Bermudez also grapples with US cultural norms and patriotism and the bewilderment that comes from a bifurcated personal journey.


An exhibition catalogue for Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia, which includes an essay by curators Gaby Heit and Jorge Luis Gutierrez, and a selected chronology of the artist's career, along with numerous images of Bermudez’s works, is available in the Museum Store and at Amazon.com: Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia: 9781888008128: Art Museum, Woodmere, Heit, Gaby, Gutierrez, Jorge Luis, Valerio, William R.: Books.


Exhibition Events
Special Tour with Henry Bermudez of his mural, Circle
Commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia 
Saturday, May 4 | 3 pm 
$10 (FREE members) 
Participants will meet at the artist’s studio and walk to the nearby mural, Circle, which he created through a commission with Mural Arts Philadelphia. After visiting the mural, enjoy having a coffee together at a nearby coffee shop.  
Henry’s studio address will be provided with registration. 
Past Exhibition Events:
Opening Reception
Thursday, February 22 | 5:30 pm
Please join us for an opening reception celebrating Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia on Thursday, February 22nd from 5:30-7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
Conversation with artist Henry Bermudez, Gaby Heit, guest curator, and Jorge Luis Guttierrez, artistic director, CEO, Contemporary Art Lab
Saturday, March 2 | 1 pm
$10 (FREE for Woodmere Members)
Join us for a conversation with Henry Bermudez. Gaby Heit, guest curator of Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia and Jorge Luis Gutierrez, artistic director of Contemporary Art Lab, will have a discussion with Henry about his artistic journey from Venezuela to Philadelphia, his home since 2003. 
Gaby Heit is an art/photo director, graphic designer, and creative consultant with a master’s degree from Pratt Institute. Also a four-time gallery director and independent curator, Gaby has represented artists from Philadelphia and New York, and has produced numerous exhibitions that celebrate connections between fine art and design. Some include shows for Le Méridien Hotel, Main Line Health, AIGA, DesignPhiladelphia, Philly Tech Week, the University City Science Center, and more. Gaby regularly consults with all kinds of creatives on presentation, organization, and self-promotion.

Jorge Luis Guttierrez is a visual arts manager, museologist, curator, and currently the Artistic Director of the Contemporary Art Lab, an arts incubator and think tank in Philadelphia. He has guided exhibitions engaging a range of curators, scholars, critics, and diverse audiences, and displayed a broad historical, cultural, and aesthetic breadth of arts from the Americas and abroad. Former Director of the Miami Dade College Art Gallery System, the Freedom Tower Museum [MDC Museum of Art & Design], Miami, FL.  Founder-Director of the Museum of Visual Arts, [Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero], Venezuela.

Children’s Workshop: Let’s Paint A Landscape Together, with Henry Bermudez 
Ages 5 and up
Saturday, April 6 | 11 am-12:30 pm 
$5/child (FREE, family members) 
(takes place in Woodmere’s studio, the Sarah Lodge Center for Creativity) 
Children and their families are offered a unique opportunity to work with artist Henry Bermudez and create a huge “landscape painting together.” The artist will outline a world of trees, plants, creatures, and patterns inspired by his artworks (on exhibit in the Museum). Children and families will use brushes and tools to paint the colors and textures that create a magical and special place. 
Families receive free admission to the Museum before or after the workshop. Be sure to visit Woodmere’s exhibition, Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia.
Gallery Talk with Henry Bermudez 
Saturday, April 13 | 2 pm 
$10 (FREE, members) 
Explore the exhibition, Henry Bermudez in Philadelphia, with the artist in a relaxed and conversational gallery talk. Bermudez will offer insight into his paintings, process, and the evolution of his work since he began living in Philadelphia over twenty years ago. Bermudez is a Venezuelan-born artist who came to Philadelphia seeking political asylum. He became a US citizen in 2013.
Tribute to Celia Cruz, the “Queen of Salsa” 
Friday, March 1 | 6 pm 
$25 ($15, members) 
Celebrating Tito Puente, the King of Latin Jazz 
Friday, April 12 | 6 pm 
$25 ($15 members) 



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