The Archive

The Archive > 2000s: HERB ALPERT


During his first visit to Mexico in 1962, Herb Alpert was dazzled by the earthy colors rampant in the cities and towns. Simultaneously, he discovered the same colors in the paintings of Rufino Tamayo, and was mesmerized by their “balanced brilliance” and the “sense of freedom” that he interpreted as “organized chaos.”  The “power” of the works of Davis Alfaro Siqueiros struck him as well. Diego Rivera’s canvases and murals were a revelation, as moving in their own way as Tamayo’s, but “interspersing strength and delicacy” in the Scan0057 (1024x805)compositions.

In 1966, while traveling in Europe with the Tijuana Brass, Alpert found he was spending all his free time in art museums. He was transfixed by the ability of the impressionists to convey “a feeling for the object”, but in Van Gogh’s paintings he connected with the vibrations transmitted visually.

Herb Alpert’s use of rhythm, chromatics, color relations, and structure reveals a strong similarity between music and art. His colors rarely arrive on the surface of the canvas directly from the bottle or the tube; they are mixed and counterpoised, generating a harmonious composition. Even Alpert’s most meditative works, the objects are never static, but seem to vibrate in an undulating rhythm.