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 Felrath Hines  (1918 - 1993)

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Lived/Active: Maryland/Indiana      Known for: abstract-op art expressionist painting

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Hanging Garden
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Biography from Philip Douglas Fine Art:
This biography was submitted by Philip Douglas Heilman owner of Philip Douglas Fine Art.  The information was sourced from June Kelley Gallery, who represents Felrath Hine's estate and from published catalog information by the Indianapolis Museum of Art as part of a Felrath Hines retrospective organized by the museum in 1995.

Early in his career Felrath Hines was inspired by the geometry of Cubism and the simplicity of Piet Mondrian and the De stijl movement.  As Hines became more influenced by American modernists he began to eliminate line from his compositions, focusing instead on simple shapes and a restrained color palette.  Hines’s interest in the science of color may have been influenced by his professional career as a painting conservator.

Born in Indianapolis, Hines was active in the Civil Rights movement and participated in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, March on Washington on August 28, 1963.  Hines joined a club of sixteen African American artists called the Spiral Group, which was formed by Romare Bearden in 1963.  It was around this time that Hines became labeled as a “black” artist, an epithet that he neither expected nor liked.  While not opposed to participating in exhibitions of African American artists, Hines wanted his imagery to remain universal and not to be seen as having relevance exclusively to black social causes or to African Americans.  As a result, in 1971 he refused to participate in the Whitney Museum of Art’s exhibition Contemporary Black Artists in America.

By focusing on nonrepresentational subject matter and harmoniously balanced shapes and colors, Hines hoped to create works that held a conceptual meaning. As he remarked, “an artist’s work is to rearrange everyday phenomena so as to enlarge our perception of who we are and what goes on about us.” Hines intended his imagery to be absorbed visually, mentally, and spiritually by all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, or race. There is a peacefulness and optimism in his luminous, tranquil works, which belie the period’s social turmoil.

Felrath Hines was born November 9, 1913 in Indianapolis, IN, and died October 3, 1993 in Silver Spring, MD

Education 1953-55 New York University, School of Education 1947-48 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York;  also studied with Nahum Tschacbasov 1944-46  Art Institute of Chicago

Solo Exhibitions
Felrath Hines: Paintings, 1960-1985, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Felrath Hines: Paintings, 1979-1992, Picker Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY; catalogue.

2002 Encore, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue.
Felrath Hines: Explorations in Color & Form, The Athenaeum, Alexandria, VA.

1995 Felrath Hines, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; catalogue.
Felrath Hines-A Survey: Works on Paper & Canvas (1947-1991), Ruschman Gallery, Indianapolis, IN.

1993 Gudelsky Gallery, Maryland College of Art and Design, Silver Spring, MD.

1992 Felrath Hines, Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC.

1987 Felrath Hines, Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC.

1986 Felrath Hines, Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC.

1984 Recent Paintings: Felrath Hines, Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD.

1979 Felrath Hines, Barbara Fielder Gallery, Washington, DC.

1977 Felrath Hines, Barbara Fielder Gallery, Washington, DC.

1959 Felrath Hines, Parma Gallery, New York.

1957 Felrath Hines, Parma Gallery, New York.

1951 S. Felrath Hines, Creative Gallery, New York

Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Hampton University Museum, Virginia
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
Ariel Capital Management, Chicago, IL
Chase Manhattan Bank
Philip Morris Corporation
Prudential Life, Washington, DC
Shearson Hamill and Company
Sallie Mae


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