The show will feature twelve works, including constructions, paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from 1934 to 1994. The exhibition celebrates the publication of a new biography on the artist by Susan C. Larsen and Neil Juhl Larsen.
The show will include examples of Biederman’s structurist reliefs from all periods, including New York #8, a rare painted wood and glass construction from 1939; #2 Red Wing, a monumental wood, aluminum, and Plexiglas work from 1949; and #34 Aix, an aluminum construction from 1972. Also included will be a selection of paintings and works on paper from the few years in the mid-1930s when Biederman was focusing on two-dimensional media.
In September 1934, Charles Biederman moved to New York to be near the hub of developments in modern art. There, he observed firsthand the latest works of the European avant-garde, and made acquaintances with influential artists, dealers, and curators. By 1936, Biederman was working in an increasingly abstract mode, and was given his first solo exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery.
Credited with inventing the medium of three-dimensional structurist reliefs, Charles Biederman was a pioneer in the development of abstraction in America. With their vibrant colors and unusual choice of materials, these constructions broke new ground in the development of an abstract vocabulary in the United States. Biederman considered the reliefs so successful, that by 1937, he put painting aside and worked exclusively in three dimensions from that point on.
Born in Cleveland, Biederman began his career working in a commercial art studio, followed by formal instruction at the Art Institute of Chicago. His exposure to the work of modernist masters in the Art Institute’s collection stimulated his interest in cubism, and convinced him to take a progressive path in his work. As the young artist experimented in a range of styles, his works became increasingly ordered and geometric.
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Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Leila Heller Gallery, September 2014
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