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Raymond Hendler

Statement/Biography



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A first-generation action painter, Raymond Hendler started his career as an Abstract Expressionist in Paris, as early as 1949.  In the years that followed, he played a significant role in the movement, both in New York, where he was a friend of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock, and in Philadelphia, where he ran an avant-garde gallery between 1952 and 1954.  His work evolved from overall tightly-wound linear webs to abstract pictograms that blend a personal language with hints at figuration. Of the latter works Kline, remarked in 1961: “The direct austere design and color complexes paint the image without undue nuances—with clarity and mature independence.”

Hendler studied in his native Philadelphia, at the Graphic Sketch Club, the Philadelphia College of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, and the Tyler School of Art (Temple University). In 1949, he traveled to Paris, where he continued his training at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière on the G.I. Bill. Immersing himself in the Left Bank art scene, he formed close friendships with the Canadian Taschist painter, Jean Paul Riopelle, and the noted Australian sculptor, Robert Klippel.  In Paris, he exhibited at the Musée d’Art Moderne and was a founding member of Galerie Huit, the first American cooperative gallery in Europe.  Its members included Sam Francis, Sidney Geist, Burt Hasen, Al Held, Shirley Jaffe, Paul Keene, Jules Olitski, Robert Rosenwald, Carmen D'Avino, Haywood Bill Rivers, and Herbert Katzman.

Returning to New York in 1951, Hendler became part of the exploding Greenwich Village art scene.  He was a voting member of the New York Artist’s Club from 1951 until its end in 1957.  He met the leading figures in the New York School, including the painters Pollock, de Kooning, and Philip Guston and the critic Harold Rosenberg. With Kline, he established a friendship that would last throughout the rest of Kline’s life and significantly inform Hendler’s work.  During this same period, Hendler was active in Philadelphia.  At the Hendler Galleries, which he ran from 1952 to 1954, he exhibited the work of Paul Émile Borduas, de Kooning, Sam Feinstein, Guston, A.P. Hankins, Hugh Kappel, Robert Keyser, Kline, George McNeil, Albert Newbill, Dimitri Petrov, Pollock, Melville Price, Ludwig Sander, and Jack Tworkov. He introduced to America work made by friends in Paris, notably Francis, Milton Resnick, and Riopelle. Hendler gave Yvonne Thomas, Stephen Pace, Robert Richenburg and Joseph Stefanelli their first solo shows.

Throughout the fifties, Hendler participated in numerous exhibitions including, "an American, one-man premiere," at the Dubin Galleries in Philadelphia—"fresh from Paris"— and historic invitationals at the Camino, March, and Stable Galleries in New York. He was represented by the Rose Fried Gallery during the 1960s.  Kline wrote the introduction to his solo show in 1962 at Fried.  In 1963, he received the Longview Foundation Purchase Award, juried by de Kooning, Thomas Hess, Guston, Rosenberg, and David Smith.  Hendler produced some of his most important work in the 1970s and 1980s, a period in which he was a full professor at the University of Minnesota.  During his forty-year teaching career, Hendler also taught at the Contemporary School of Art, Brooklyn; Parsons School of Design, New York; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; and School of Visual Art, New York; and Minneapolis College of Art, where he was head of the painting department.

Hendler retired from teaching in 1984 and moved two years later to the East End of Long Island.  He lived and painted for the last ten years of his life in the house in East Hampton’s Northwest Woods that he built with his wife, Mary Rood.

Hendler’s first solo exhibition was a Galerie Huit in Paris in 1951.  Subsequently he had frequent solo exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and other locations.   During his lifetime, he participated extensively in group shows, beginning in 1949.  Since his death in 1998, his work has continued to be featured in solo and group shows, many of which are important reconsiderations of the art of the second half of the twentieth century.

Hendler is represented in the collections of numerous museums and public collections in America and abroad, including Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Calcutta, India; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; Grey Art Gallery, New York; J. Walter Thompson Company, New York; Minneapolis College of Art & Design; Minneapolis Institute of Art; New York University; Novartis Co., East Hanover, New Jersey; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; University of New Mexico, Art Museum, Albuquerque; University of Notre Dame, Indiana; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

CV

1923, Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvani
1998, Died East Hampton, New York
1951, Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris
1954, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

SOLO EXHIBITION
Galerie Huit, Paris, 1951.
Dubin Galleries, Philadelphia, 1952.
Hendler Galleries, Philadelphia, 1953.
Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, 1955.
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, 1959.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1962.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1964.
Art Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, 1965.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1967.
Gallery 118, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1970.
St. John University, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1974.
Art Lending Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1975.
Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota, 1976.
Medici-Berenson Gallery, Miami, 1980.
Medici-Berenson Gallery, Miami, 1981.
Marc Miller Gallery, East Hampton, New York, 1996.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2000.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2001.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2002.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2003.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2004.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, 2008.
Berry Campbell, New York, 2014.
Berry Campbell, New York, 2016.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Newark Gallery, Invitational, New Jersey, 1949.
Galerie Huit, Paris, 1950.
Musee D’Art Moderne, Invitational, Paris, 1950.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, 1952.
Camino Gallery, Invitational, New York, 1953.
Cheltenman Art Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1953.
Stable Gallery, Invitational, New York, 1953.
Art Center of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1954.
Camino Gallery, Invitational, New York, 1954.
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1954.
Edmonton Museum of Art, Alberta, Canada, 1955.
March Gallery, Invitational, New York, 1955.
Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania, 1955.
Mills College, Oakland, California, 1955.
Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia, 1955.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, 1955.
Washington County Museum, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1955.
Calgary Allied Art Center, Alberta, Canada, 1956.
Gallery of Modern Art, Montreal, Canada, 1956.
Stanford University, California, 1956.
University of Manitoba, Winnepeg, Canada, 1956.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1956.
University of Texas, Austin, 1956.
Davida Gallery, New York, 1957.
March Gallery, New York, 1957.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, 1957.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1959.
Widdifield Gallery, New York, 1959.
Museum of Modern Art, Invitational, New York, 1960.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1960.
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, 1961.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1961.
Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, 1962.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1962.
Walker Art Center, New York, 1962.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1963.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1965.
Carlsson Gallery, New York, 1966.
Ciba-Geigy Corporation, New York, Ardsley, New York, 1966.
Englewood Armory Show, New Jersey, 1966.
Birla Academy Museum, Museum of Modern Western Art, Calcutta, India, 1968.
Ciba-Geigy, Corporation, Ardsley, New York, 1968.
New York University, 1968.
University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1968.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1968.
Gallery 118, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1969.
Julliard School of Music, New York, Ciba-Geigy Collection, 1969.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, The Fifties Revisited & Minnesota Freedom in Greece, 1969.
Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1970.
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, The Fifties Revisited, 1970.
United States Information Service, Washington, DC (traveled to India), American Art, 1970.
Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York, 1971.
Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1971.
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, 1971.
Jewish Community Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1971.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York, 1971.
St. Catherine College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1971.
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, 1972.
Gallery 118, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1972.
Jewish Community Arts Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1972.
St. Catherine College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1972.
St. Louis Park Medical Center, St. Louis, Minnesota, 1972.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1972.
West Bank Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, The New York Influence, 1972.
Normandale College, Minnesota, 1973.
Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, 1973.
Art Lending Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1974.
Summit Art Center, New Jersey, 1974.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1974.
Pace Gallery, New York, 1975.
St. John University, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1975.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1975.
Pace Gallery, New York, Eight American Painters: Invitational Dublin, Ireland, 1976.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1977.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Art/Not Art, 1978.
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1978.
Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1979.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1980.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1981.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1982.
New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey, Ciba-Geigy 50 Years Anniversary Show, 1987.
Marc Miller Gallery, East Hampton, New York, 1996.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, Avant Garde of the Fifties & Now, Inaugural exhibition in conjunction with the relase of the book by Marika Herskovic, New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, 2000.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, Fifties & Sixties Works on Paper, 2001.
Gallery Rood, Eastport, New York, 2002.
Studio 18 Gallery, New York, Galerie Huit-American Artists in Paris, 2003.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, Winter Group Show, 2008.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, Works on Paper, 2008.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, American Abstractions, 2009.
Berry Campbell, New York, Masters of Expressionism in Post-War America, 2014.
Berry Campbell, New York, Summer Selections, 2015.
Berry Campbell, New York, Summer Selections, 2016.

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Calcutta, India
Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle, Montreal, Canada
Estate of Robert Klippel, Sydney, Australia
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Grey Art Gallery, New York University
J. Walter Thompson Company, New York
Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Minnesota
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis
Novartis Company (formerly Ciba-Geigy), New Jersey and Basel, Switzerland
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
University of Notre Dame, South Bend Indiana
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota