Fred Bendheim: Shapings
June 12- July 13
Opening reception, Thursday June 12, 6-9 PM

440 Gallery, 440 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn

In his inaugural solo exhibit at 440 Gallery, long-time Brooklyn-based artist Fred Bendheim brings a bolt of energy, bright color and visual bravado to the world of art. Bendheim constructs abstract, shaped paintings on cut-out surfaces. These “shapings” are usually made of wood and often painted in exuberant primary oil colors. Their geometric lines possess a formal restraint, a coolness that balances the heat of their electric hues. Bendheim’s technical execution is orderly and meticulous, but the curves and jutting angles convey a visceral freedom. Fred Bendheim: Shapings will be exhibited from June 12th through July 13th, 2014, with an opening reception on Thursday, June 12th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Several events related to the exhibition are planned, including music by the Sephardic-jazz band, Sophie Salonica, and a lecture by the critic and curator, Robert C. Morgan: “Locating Art in the Realm of the Virtual: A Neo-Metaphysical Journey Through Time and Space”.

Bendheim states that his work is “based on principles, not precedents. It is about the immediacy of the forms, lines and colors and their relationships to each other and the spaces that they inhabit.” He cites the shaped canvases of Elizabeth Murray as an influence as well as the vibrant simple cutouts in the late work of Matisse. The rhythmic repetition and geometry of forms in some of the work recall the patterning of Islamic art or Navaho weaving. The Native American theme recurs in Bendheim’s totemic vertical constructions and in the motif of his use of the four cardinal directions.

Fred Bendheim has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Arts & Design, NY; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The National Gallery of Costa Rica; The Instituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice, Italy; The Plotkin Museum, Scottsdale, AZ; The Brooklyn Public Library, NY; Denise Bibro Fine Art, NY; Bradley International Airport, Los Angeles, CA; The Mayo Center for Humanities, Scottsdale, AZ. His commissions include sculptures for Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and paintings for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, among others. His past art has taken the form of large room-sized installations, outdoor billboards with children’s art, sculptures and fountains made of many materials and mural-sized drawings. He has written many articles about art for the British journal The Lancet and teaches art classes at the Art Students League in New York City.