Artist Search
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 

 Helene Marie Fesenmaier  (1937 - 2013)

About: Helene Marie Fesenmaier


Examples of her work


Quick facts

Exhibits - current  



  Book references Magazine references pre-2007  

Discussion board

Signature Examples*

Buy and Sell: Helene Marie Fesenmaier
  For sale ads

Auction results*

  Wanted ads Auctions upcoming for her*  
  Dealers Auction sales graphs*  

What's my art worth?

Magazine ads pre-1998*  

Market Alert - Free

Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts/Minnesota / England      Known for: arranged objects, mushroom motifs, conceptual painting and sculpture

Login for full access
View AskART Services

*may require subscription

Available for Helene Marie Fesenmaier:

Quick facts (Styles, locations, mediums, teachers, subjects, geography, etc.) (Helene Fesenmaier)


Biographical information (Helene Fesenmaier)


Book references (Helene Fesenmaier)


Museum references (Helene Fesenmaier)


Auction records - upcoming / past (Helene Fesenmaier)


Auction high record price (Helene Fesenmaier)


Signature Examples* (Helene Fesenmaier)


Analysis of auction sales (Helene Fesenmaier)


Discussion board entries (Helene Fesenmaier)


Image examples of works (Helene Fesenmaier)


Please send me Alert Updates for Helene Marie Fesenmaier (free)
What is an alert list?

Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Model for a Small Guillotine
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist from The Telegraph, United Kingdom

Helene Fesenmaier, who has died aged 75, was an American painter and sculptor, and made London her home for more than 40 years; her work is held in galleries and collections both in Britain and around the world.

As a painter, Helene Fesenmaier’s early work was characterized by earthen colors and a brave use of black; later she created vigorous, colourful abstracts. As a sculptor, her preferred medium was wood — she once observed that “wood gave off light in the way that flesh did”. But she came to specialize in work that combined painting and sculpture in a single piece.

Helene Marie Fesenmaier was born into a family of Polish origin at New Ulm, Minnesota, on August 31 1937. Her father was a successful surgeon, her mother an interior designer who had studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. After leaving the local high school, Helene went to Smith College in Massachusetts, where she studied printmaking with Leonard Baskin, then on to the Yale Art School (1959-61), studying under Josef Albers .

In 1964 she moved to New York, becoming one of a group of students and artists who formed the New York Studio School of Painting and Sculpture, led by Mercedes Matter and George McNeil and supported by Mark Rothko. The group insisted on life-drawing as a prerequisite. She met the abstract expressionists Willem de Kooning and Barnett Newman, and spent a period painting in Holland.

Her first husband, Frank Dawson, was a lawyer working for the World Bank, and in 1969 he was posted to Venezuela. Finding no suitable life models, she began creating wooden constructions from which to draw; later she would start to imagine works that would simultaneously incorporate both painting and sculpture.

From their base in Caracas, Helene Fesenmaier and her husband traveled throughout South America, on the way collecting pieces of Pre-Columbian art. In Peru she was gathering mushrooms from the ruins of Machu Picchu when she encountered a woman who turned out to be the founder of the New York Mycological Society; this led to an invitation to join the Society’s next “mushroom walk” in upstate New York, on which Helene met the composer John Cage, the dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham and the artist Jasper Johns. Cage became a friend until his death in 1992; mushrooms became a recurring motif in Helene Fesenmaier’s work.

In 1970 Helene Fesenmaier settled in London, where she continued to explore combinations of painting and sculpture — at first using wood from the packing crates left over from her move.

Her marriage was dissolved, and as a devout Roman Catholic she tried for many years to secure an annulment; but despite her long friendship with Archbishop Bruno Heim, the Apostolic Nuncio to Britain, she never succeeded. In 1992 she married fellow artist David Hodgson, who in the early 1980s had been her student at Croydon Art College, where she worked alongside Bruce McLean and Bridget Riley.

In 1979 Helene Fesenmaier’s large structure entitled Logbook: The Birth of a Book is the Death of a Tree was displayed outside the Victoria and Albert Museum; afterwards it was transported by the British Timber Research and Development Association to woodland at High Wycombe , slowly to “deliquesce” (as she put it) back to the earth.

Helene Fesenmaier’s last two exhibitions were of paintings and sculptures named after saints; in 2012 her sculptures and paintings were shown at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Her works are held in numerous collections, including the Museums of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, the Arts Council in Britain and the V&A.

Helene Fesenmaier, born August 31 1937, died June 21 2013, is survived by David Hodgson and by their son, William.

Submitted by Alpen Gallery

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
  go to top home | site map | site terms | AskART services & subscriptions | contact | about us
  copyright © 2000-2014 AskART all rights reserved ® AskART and Artists' Bluebook are registered trademarks

  A |  B |  C |  D-E |  F-G |  H |  I-K |  L |  M |  N-P |  Q-R |  S |  T-V |  W-Z  
  frequently searched artists 1, 2, more...  
  art appraisals, art for sale, auction records, misc artists