TAMAR HENDEL GALLERY
Fall/Winter Juried Exhibition
The Color of Glue
Mixed Media on Canvas
Born in Champaign, Illinois, I earned a BFA from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1973) and an MFA from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (1976). Between the two degrees, I worked in a residential Swiss school for the intellectually disabled that followed anthroposophy, the teachings/everyday life translations of Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925)—name coincidental, no relation. Unknown to me then, several years later, Rudolph’s art aesthetics became the centerpiece for 2013 Venice Biennale. I benefited from two residencies at Edward Albee’s Foundation (Montauk, NY) and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My paintings have been shown widely, favorably reviewed by both local/national press, and are represented in major corporate collections including 3-M (Minneapolis, MN), New York Health, Hospital Corporation (NY, NY), The Brooklyn Art Library (Brooklyn, NY), Fort Smith Regional Airport (Fort Smith, AR) and Montgomery County Maryland Government (Rockville, MD), among others.
My expressionist-style painting frequently reflects direct or indirect reference to disability. While I do not self-identify as disabled myself, I have worked with disabled people in many of my “day jobs” and have had close relatives who were disabled. These paintings germinated from an idea of adding and integrating Braille imagery into my paintings because of my visual fascination with the dot patterns of Braille documents I found cleaning out my late (blind) mother’s home and the opportunity to deepen the interpretation of my studio work through tactile sensation, not to mention broaden their public audience to include blind and partially sighted audiences. Sadly, this artistic vision was sabotaged by the COVID outbreak of two years ago in that the spread of the disease discouraged tactile interaction for sanitary reasons. At the time of the COVID outbreak, I was experimenting with perforated rubber bathmats with punched out round drain holes as stencils to manufacture standardized Braille letters at a scale that corresponded to the measure of my large paintings. (Because Braille is normally read by fingertip, its scale is normally quite small, to wit Braille signage next to public elevators.) Embracing with understanding the restrictions of COVID, I gave up on the Braille but nonetheless continued experimenting with the bathmats as a tool to invent abstract paintings. Echoing Braille’s raised dots, I painted on wood instead of canvas so that the paint would sit atop and not be absorbed, giving the work a textured rather than flat finish.
CREATE Art Center has operated in the Silver Spring community for over thirty-five years as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to spark creativity, foster learning, empower individuals, and facilitate community connections through the visual arts. Named after CREATE’s founder, the Tamar Hendel Gallery opened in 2019. It showcases local artists who work in a variety of media.