Ariel Herwitz

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What Is My Work About? 

In materials, one finds the intimacy of touch. There is relationship between object and self. Through texture, form, depth, tonal gradations and gravity, these relationships become imbued to the viewer. Through the use of raw materials, I seek to expose the evidence of the hand and documentation of the duration spent interacting with the fibers. Through improvisation, I am able to capture the haphazard drape of the felt, or the imperfection of the line. The materials blend together to become fields of color, or portals; each color and fiber becomes cumulative, building off the one before. Each piece becomes essential to the whole, while also containing a singular expression: it is a snapshot.


Artist Statement

In fiber there is a rigorous tradition–a marked way of handling the raw material. There is a rich custom in which practiced hands utilize fibers to depict and represent.  By using this medium to employ ideas of abstraction rather than representation, my work dwells in the tenuous connections between materials and is not limited by the pictorial.

I work within abstraction in order to make objects that evade description. The elements are let loose to resonate within the parameters I have set.  Color can stand in for perception and interpretation.  Cutting can create another type of form, where the drape of the fabric is the body abstracted.

The use of needle felting in my work creates an open-ended object; one that is not subjected to the same sense of permanence as I’ve found working in other materials and methods.  It is a tenuous connection.  It is strong and solid, holding the information of the action. Yet, it can also be broken, torn or pulled apart.  When that connection is broken, the remaining faded wisp of color and form provide a sense of what was once whole.

The materials and processes I use are stand-ins. Stand-ins for memory, which has faded, but is still somehow intact. Stand-ins for the everyday, and the paths we choose to take. Stories are written, revised, erased, and rewritten. Always improvisation is our only rule. Like working with the felt, no two pathways are the same–even the most predictable of outcomes can be random and unpredictable.


Born 1983, Atlanta, GA.

Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA.



Cranbrook Academy of Art, MFA Ceramics, 2011

Bennington College, BA Visual Arts, 2005




“Maroon Belles”, Los Angeles, CA.

4619 W Washington Blvd, Curated by Simmy Swinder


“Part 1”, Los Angeles, CA.

Greene Exhibitions


“Almost Something, Not Quite Nothing”, Los Angeles, CA.

Ambach and Rice



“To Forge and To Forage”, Los Angeles, CA.




“The Shape of Things to Come”Denver, CO.



“Here, Here”Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Cranbrook Art Museum



“Blaauw Jobs”Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Forum Gallery



The Biennial Project”, Boston, MA.

Atlantic Works


2007 and Earlier

Resident Artist Group Show, Oak Park, IL.

Terra Incognito Studios

The Perfect Amount”, Bennington, VT.

Bennington College

Special Exhibition”, Bennington, VT.

“The Barn” Bennington College



Emerging Artist Award Nominee, Rema Hort Mann Foundation 2013

YoYoYo Grant Recipient, RHMF and Los Angeles Arts Council 2013



2011 Mercedes Benz Financial, Farmington Hills, MI.

2011 “Here, Here”, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI.