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 Sari Dienes  (1899 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: New York / Hungary      Known for: sculpture-found object, collage, prints

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Ad Code: 3
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Multi-media artist Sari Dienes was born Sari Chylinska von Daivitz in 1899 in Debreczen, Hungary.  She came to America at the outset of World War II.  Dienes explored the use of found objects, ceramics, printmaking--including woodcuts, silkscreen murals, rubbings and color xeroxes as artistic media.  She was one of the founding members of New York City's A.I.R. Gallery, one of the first all women cooperative galleries in the United States.

Dienes was a fellow-in-residence for three years at the MacDowell Colony in 1952, 1953, and 1955, in Peterborough, New Hampshire; received a Ford Foundation grant in 1965; as well as grants from the Gottlieb Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.  She was also awarded a gold medal in 1979 from the Accademia Italia Delle Arti di Lavoro in Parma, Italy.

Dienes taught at the Brooklyn Museum School, New York; Parsons School of Design, New York City; as well as holding residencies at the Cummington School of Art, in Massachusetts, in 1954, and at Atlos de Chavon, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Dienes studied with Fernand Leger, Amedee Ozenfant and Andre L'Hote in Paris, France at the Academie Moderne from 1930-1935.  In 1937, she was Director of the Ozenfant School in London, England, where she studied with Henry Moore in 1938.  The following year, she was working in New York City at Ozenfant's school there.  She explored printmaking with Stanley William Hayter in his Atelier 17 in New York City.  Prior to the visual arts, Dienes had studied music, dance and philosophy.

Sari Dienes's exhibitions include, in New York City, the Wittenborn Gallery, and New School for Social Research, in 1942; Betty Parsons Gallery, 1950, 1954, 1959; Museum of Modern Art, 1961; A.I.R. Gallery, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1990. In Sparkill, New York, Dienes was given a 1986 retrospective show at the Thorpe Intermedia Gallery; in 1990, a show at the Galerie J & J Donguy in Paris, France; and in 1992-1993, a memorial exhibition in New York City at the Sari Dienes Gallery.

Bibliographical material includes "Sari Dienes," by Judith Von Baron in the April 1974 issue of Craft Horizons; Peter Frank's review, "Sari Dienes (A.I.R.)," in the January 1976 issue of Art News; Cate Miodoni's "The Natural Order of Things: Sari Dienes," in the Fall 1982 issue of Women Artists News; and Roberta Smith's "Sari Dienes, 93, Artist Devoted to the Value of the Found Object," in The New York Times, May 28, 1992.

Sari Dienes died in 1992.

Jules and Nancy Heller, North American Women Artists of the 20th Century

Added Note:
She also appears in more than one film as herself, including in a television series episode Creativity With Bill Moyers: Garbage which aired
on PBS in the 1982-1983 season.  She appears as herself in this film about creativity, explaining her use of found objects in the construction of her installation and collage work.

Information provided by Roger Phenix

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