Raymond Hendler (1923 - 1998): Swinging Heart


PRESS RELEASE: Raymond Hendler (1923 - 1998): Swinging Heart, Mar 20 - Apr 26, 2014

"Raymond Hendler exhibited a group of abstract paintings that displayed rare high spirits. Using a great deal of fresh white, Hendler devised extremely simple symbols which he dispersed felicitously on his shining grounds. These bright, often linear hieroglyphs serve both as pictorial animators-they often flow in winding patterns or like fluent handwriting-and as references to the plentitude of the artist's existence. Gardens and sky and human joy are read in these exceedingly compressed forms."

Dore Ashton, 1964



NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 13, 2014 – Berry Campbell is pleased to announce Raymond Hendler: Swinging Heart an exhibition featuring the expressionist style paintings the artist created between 1957 and 1964.

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 1962: “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.  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 de Kooning, Sam Feinstein, Guston, Kline, George McNeil, 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 was represented by the Rose Fried Gallery during the 1960s.

During his forty-year teaching career, Hendler taught at the University of Minnesota, 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 is represented in the collections of numerous public and private collections in America and abroad.

The opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 20 from 6 to 8 pm.  The exhibition will run through Saturday, April 26, 2014.  Berry Campbell is located in the heart of Chelsea at 530 West 24th Street on the ground floor.

For more information please contact Christine Berry or Martha Campbell at 212.924.2178, info@berrycampbell.com or www.berrycampbell.com.