Carmen Herrera, the 105-year-old Cuban American abstract painter, has a new mural in East Harlem. Uno, Dos, Tres just went up on the walls of the Manhattan East Academy, a school on E. 100th Street. Painted by students from across the city, through a partnership with the arts and education nonprofit Publicolor, it’s a mesmerizing black-and-white optical pattern that’s two stories tall, and visible from the FDR.
When Herrera was approached to do the installation, what excited her the most wasn’t the mural itself; it was that students would be painting it. The students were supposed to paint the piece ahead of her birthday in May, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the process. It took the students ten weeks to complete the mural, which is composed of 96 separate boards that were assembled on site.
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