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 Raymond Hendler  (1923 - 1998)

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Lived/Active: New York/Minnesota      Known for: non-representational action painting

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An example of work by Raymond Hendler
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raymond Hendler was a first-generation action painter who's mature work began in Paris in 1949, independent from the New York scene. While in Paris, supported by the GI Bill, Hendler was one of the founding members of Galerie Huit (the first American Cooperative Art Gallery in Europe) and studied at Academie de la Grand Chaumiere.

Upon his return from Paris in 1951, he became active in the New York art scene. He was a voting member of the original New York Artists' Club from 1951 until its end in 1957. He met and befriended important figures of the time such as Franz Kline, Harold Rosenberg and others. He participated in numerous exhibitions including The Stable Gallery Invitational in 1952.

From 1952-54 he was founder and director of the Hendler Galleries, the first "avant garde" gallery in Philadelphia, PA. He exhibited: Willem DeKooning, Sam Feinstein, Sanford Greenberg, Philip Guston, Shirley Jaffe, Robert Keyser, Franz Kline, George McNeil, Stephen Pace, Jackson Pollock, Melville Price, Milton Resnick, Robert Richenburg and Jack Tworkov. He was the first to introduce to America the work of friends whom he met in Paris: Paul-Emile Borduas, Sam Francis, and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

Hendler was represented by the Rose Fried Gallery in New York City until Fried's death in 1970. For a one man show at Rose Fried in January, 1962, his friend, Franz Kline wrote:

"Since first I saw Hendler's paintings in 1952 they have developed into larger simpler form arriving at a personally abstract image controlled within a painted space. The direct austere design and color complexes paint the image without undue nuances-with clarity and mature independence."

Raymond Hendler was the only artist Kline ever wrote for.

Hendler exhibited in many major museums, universities and galleries throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. His exhibitions included: Musee D'art Moderne, Paris, France, Museum of Modern Art, NY, NY, Baltimore Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Phildelphia Museum of Art, Miineapolis Institute of Art, Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

In 1963, he received the Longview Foundation Purchase Award, juried by Willem DeKooning, Thomas Hess, Philip Guston, Harold Rosenberg and David Smith.

In 1964 Georgine Oeri, a noted curator and art historian wrote in Quadrum (The International Magazine of Modern Art);

"Raymond Hendler's work has vitality and freshness, a joyful, even playful exuberance. In his early work (which was close to, but independent of Pollock); he spread the overall web of linear forms as so many borderlines, between that first place of human awareness and that which is outside it, between the discovered and the undiscovered world, between "l'etre et le neant" ("being and nothingness").

Hendler outlined his painting concepts in a statement for an exhibition;

"The artist has always worked from what Joseph Campbell has called, 'The Focal Point of Human Wonder'. Today, that point, the crucial mystery, is man himself. To make such a manifest the artist must reveal the reality (the what is) that is the razor's edge between his conscious and his unconscious. Such is my endeavor."

Hendler was a Professor at the University of Minnesota from 1968-1984. He retired to East Hampton, New York and painted vigorously until the end of his life.

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN
University of New Mexico, University Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM
Birla Academy, 108-109 Southern Ave Calucutta, India,
NYU, Grey Art Gallery 100 Washington Sq East, NY, NY
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
J Walter Thompson Co., 466 Lexington Ave NY, NY
Novartis Co. (formerly Ciba-Geigy), Basel, Switzerland CH-4002

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