Peyton Wright Gallery is pleased to announce its premiere exhibition of works by Charles Hinman. The show features a selection of works indicative of Hinman’s long and pioneering career in the arts. In a recent review, a writer for The Brooklyn Rail praised Hinman’s “inexorable commitment to a single idea” Indeed for decades, he’s defined his singular practice with his stretched and shaped canvases. Using a palette of densely applied, matte color, Hinman paints angular, three-dimensional shaped canvases, creating areas of dynamic contrast. Jutting out from the walls, the works form multitudinous shadows, which change dramatically depending on where the light hits them.
Hinman began his career as an artist in 1964, and soon was showing at Sidney Janis Gallery and later at the Richard Feigen Gallery, both in New York City. In 1965, he was included in the historic Young America exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Also in 1965, Hinman’s work was featured in the seminal exhibition Shape and Structure, alongside Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, and others. Writing for Art in America, Lilly Wei observed that “with Hinman, what you see might be what you see, but it will be more than what you see at first. He requires time from his viewers…you should give it to him; it will be time well spent.”
Charles Hinman was born in Syracuse, New York on December 29, 1932. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1955. He studied at the Art Students League from 1955 to 1966, then served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958. Hinman taught painting and engineering drawing at Staten Island Academy, New York from 1960 to 1962, and at Woodmere Academy from 1962 to 1964. Among his numerous distinctions, Hinman is a four-time recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and a 2012 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship. His work is included in public and private collections of national and international stature, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, Nagoaka, Japan; the Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel, and many more.View Catalogue
About the Artist
Hinman lived in New York City and held various part-time jobs while he continued to paint. Charles Hinman taught painting and engineering drawing at Staten Island Academy, New York from 1960 to 1962, and was the shop instructor at Woodmere Academy on Long Island from 1962 to 1964. In these two positions, he developed carpentry and engineering skills that gave him the ability to construct his own shaped canvases with complex three-dimensional curves.
In 1963, while seeking an independent path, he created his first shaped canvases in his studio on the Bowery, where Will Insley, who was also working on shaped canvases, and Robert Indiana had studios, as well.
Hinman first received critical attention in the exhibition 7 New Artisits at the Sidney Janis Gallery in May 1964 where he exhibited flat canvases cut at angles and suspended by cords. The other artists in the exhibition were: Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Norman Ives, Robert Slutsky, Robert Whitman, and Arakawa.
Hinman went on to add the third dimension to his shaped canvases while examining the subtle boundary between the picture plane and the space in front of it, as well as playing with the idea of literal versus illusionistic depth.
Usually Hinman begins his work by building charcoal drawings of volumetric shapes. Out of the series of drawings, he will select one drawing and turn it into “shop drawings” to determine how the organic shape can be turned into a constructed form with intricate shape stretchers supporting it. While building the armature, he addresses the level of three-dimensionality of the work. Once the work has been stretched with canvas and given a ground, he then determines colors, often creating more sketches and repainting areas several times.
In the 1960’s, Hinman used bright colors in his work adding an almost Pop aesthetic to his canvases, such as Poltergeist, 1964, which is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He said he was then using color as if he were painting a hot rod. In 1975, Hinman began an all-white series of paintings. Returning to color in the late 1970’s, Hinman treated color as spatial indicators with each color representing a different canvas unit; each color having a separate stretcher underneath it. With a more muted palette of grays, silvers, and tans, the artist attained subtle interactions of color shapes interlocking with each other in space within a rhythmic order.
Hinman’s first solo exhibition was at the Feigen Gallery in New York in Nov.-Dec.1964, quickly followed by exhibitions with Feigen in 1965 at both his New York and Chicago galleries. Out of the 1964 show, the Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and Nelson Rockefeller purchased works. In 1965, Hinman was one of four Americans invited to exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Nagaoka, Japan where Hinman shared first prize with the Japanese artist Jiro Takamatsu. More solo and group exhibitions followed with Feigen through 1969 and then Hinman signed on with the Paris dealer Denise Rene, having solo exhibitions at Galerie Denise Rene in Paris in 1971 and then in her New York gallery in 1972, 1973 and 1975.
Hinman has visited Japan, Thailand, India, Iran, Greece, Italy, France and England. He served as artist-in-Residence, Aspen, Colorado in 1966. Hinman has taught at Cornell University and at Syracuse University. He has also held teaching positions at Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, the Cooper Union, Princeton University, University of Georgia campuses in Athens, Georgia and Cortona, Italy, and other distinguished institutions. Presently, he is teaching at the Art Students League of New York. In 1989, Hinman’s work traveled to Russia for an exhibition organized by Donald Kuspit titled Painting Beyond the Death of Painting at the Kuznetsky Most Exhibition Hall in Moscow. Hinman has credited Russian Supremacists as having a strong influence on his work.
Museum collections with Charles Hinman’s work include: the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; the Denver Art Museum, CO; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Nagaoke Museum in Japan; the Louisiana Museum in Denmark; the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel; and the Pfalzgalerie Museum in Germany, among others.
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