Mimi Herbert (b. 1936) is an American painter and sculptor who gained prominence among the Washington Color School artists in the 1970s with her experimentations with simple geometric shapes and bold color.
In early spring of 2020, Herbert’s sculpture Red Triplet (1974) was installed at the National Gallery of Art in the East Building’s Minimalist Gallery. The sculpture is surrounded by works by Anne Truitt, Sol Le Witt, Frank Stella, Mary Corse, and David Novros, each enhancing the other. Originally purchased by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1974, the NGA chose the piece to become part of its permanent collection when the Corcoran closed its doors.
Acrylic sheets became Herbert’s primary artistic medium in the 1970s and continue to be today. Her complex sculptures are formed by heating sheets of acrylic to a precise temperature, then quickly twisting and folding them before they cool and solidify in thirty to forty seconds. As with Red Triplet, the simplicity in color and subject shifts the focus to the positive and negative space of the soft, airy folds and fluid form.
In 1976 Herbert was commissioned to create a 175 foot Bicentennial Pennant flag sculpture that spanned the facade of the 17th street facade of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Herbert's family experienced war and uncertainty which inspired a fascination with the American flag as an image for sculpture.
In 2002 the Smithsonian National Museum of American History acquired her “Tribute” sculptures created in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11. She was honored to be the single artist in the museum’s memorial exhibition.
Herbert’s work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT; the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, Bloomfield Hills Michigan, the American University Museum, Washington DC, and in private collections in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia and El Salvador. She has lived and worked in the USA, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Brazil, El Salvador, Haiti and New Zealand.