Painter · Sculptor
Born 1953, Detroit, Michigan
"If we could see the universe as Hertzel does, we would see more unity than division. We would see a gathering of dynamic forces rather than a static collection of unrelated ideas" -Brian H. Peterson
Sculptor Jonathan Hertzel works largely in bronze, making abstract sculptures that relate to the structures and processes of life. He starts with a signature DNA-like design, from which grow shapes that suggest both human and animal forms as well as the patterns of nature. “My work has a spiral sort of motion,” he says, “things turning within themselves and back out again, back within and out again.” Among his major influences was the Swiss Surrealist Sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Hertzel says: “I do feel that human form is really a conduit, a type of organic machinery gathering energy that is harnessed and expressed.” As part of its ongoing Outdoor Sculpture Program, the James A. Michener Art Museum presented an installation of sculpture by Hertzel called “The Gathering” in 2005.
The exhibition Jonathan Hertzel: When Sparks Fly highlights the artist's recent work in watercolor alongside one of his dynamic bronze sculptures, Adam Splitting. A former, longtime resident of Bucks County, Hertzel recently moved to Santa Fe with his wife, fellow artist Linda Guenste. The change in location has prompted a shift in both medium and subject matter for Hertzel, turning from oils and bronze to more portable watercolor, which has allowed the artist to work rapidly and with great expression. His distinctive swirling, organic forms are still present, but now in an updated color palette and with an entirely new character
Hertzel was trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at Alfred University. His work has been exhibited at the Woodmere Art Museum, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Jonathan Hertzel, photo courtesy of the artist, James A. Michener Art Museum Library