Untitled (House on Hillside)
Brandon Herman
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School

It is simultaneously gritty and glossy, this world that Brandon Herman creates. Elements of the lush and optimal mixed with the imprecise and real, as if to point out that neither our wildest fantasies nor our true circumstances are ever fully excluded from our realities. It's unclear what direction the contradiction is heading; whether the ordinary is being idealized, or the chimerical is decomposing in front of us. If we looked away for a moment, would every trace of truth be consumed, leaving us with an image as flawless as a Hollywood movie? Or would it work the other way; the sublimity running like wet paint, seeping away to reveal something awful?

Here are houses, but with wilderness in between them. This wilderness is where lost boys adventure, but what else is in there? Where vision is obscured, a predator is sensed. And again, the confusion...as we scan the brush, are we on the hunt, or being hunted?

Why is Herman showing us these houses? There is foreboding in the specificity. The sky is somber; its color murky. It looms above the center home's orange glow, the warmth of which is a misleading invitation, identified only too late as a signal lit in warning of impending doom, the flame of which is about to sputter and die out. —Catalog excerpt


About the collection

Gerald Schwartz believes the presence of provocative art promotes creative thinking, remembering that "artistic presence was the only thing missing at HBS when I went there. I wanted to change that." In 1995, Gerry Schwartz and a team from HBS together began purchasing contemporary art for the HBS buildings most frequented by students. Inspired by the growing collection, a small group of MBA students founded the HBS Art Appreciation Society in 2001. It quickly grew into one of the largest student clubs on campus, sponsoring events in Boston area galleries and museums, as well as an annual weekend in Manhattan to meet artists, tour exhibitions, and attend theater. The club's co-presidents accompany Mr. Schwartz on his annual buying trip to purchase additional art for the School's collection.

About Gerald Schwartz, MBA '70

Gerald Schwartz, MBA ’70, is the Founder and CEO of Onex Corporation. He has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Gerry Schwartz is Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of Mount Sinai Hospital, a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, a trustee of The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Chairman of its Canadian Friends, and a governor of Junior Achievement of Metro Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and several Doctor of Laws (Hon.) degrees. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Heather Reisman, founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music.