George Herms has poured most of his 76 years into making art out of found objects.
His 1960 work, "The Librarian," currently on display at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, is considered an icon of California's school of Assemblage Art, which broke new terrain at the time by challenging the canon of traditional sculpture. Abandoned books and other unwanted objects that Herms had rummaged from a Bay Area dump were grist for his artistic hommage to a small-town librarian.
"The sculptors wanted to use everything they saw out on the street, and that was called Assemblage Art," said Herms, who is noted as a founder of that school as well as a leading visual artist who emerged from the 1950s Beat movement.
"My whole trip is about values," added the artist, who has been living at a friend's house in Irvine for the past two years. "The things that are thrown away, I feel, still have life in art. They may not be functional but they still have another life — an aesthetic life."