• NEW YORK, New York
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  • March 02, 2012

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Charles Biederman (1906-2004) Untitled, 1937 (Model) Painted wood, 22 3/16 x 18 1/4 inches, 56.4 x 46.4 cms. Dated, inscribed and signed on verso: 1937 (Model) / Charles Biederman.
Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, LLC


Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, LLC, is pleased to announce that it will exhibit an important group of works from the estate of Charles Biederman, both at The Art Show at New York’s Park Avenue Armory and at its gallery on East 69th Street during New York Art Week, March 7-11, 2012.  The Art Show, limited to members of the Art Dealers Association of America, is one of the premier art fairs in the United States.

Charles Biederman (1906-2004) was an abstract painter, theorist, and innovative sculptor of geometric wall reliefs.  Born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Czech immigrants, he studied art at the Cleveland Art Institute and the Chicago Art Institute School.  He moved to New York in 1934 in order to associate more closely with other modernist artists.  During this time, he began to make his abstract relief constructions, while his paintings became stylized images of three-dimensional biomorphic forms.  In 1936, Albert E. Gallatin, the noted art critic and himself a painter, included his work in a show at the Paul Reinhardt Gallery titled “Five American Concretionists,” which traveled on to Paris and London.  (The others in the exhibition were Alexander Calder, John Ferren, George L. K. Morris, and Charles Shaw.)  That same year he was given his first solo exhibition at New York’s prestigious Pierre Matisse Gallery, where the Museum of Modern Art acquired one of his wall constructions. 

Biederman made a nine-month trip to Paris in late 1936, where he became active with the leading international modernists, among them Picasso, Miro, Mondrian, Giacometti, Leger, Arp, Brancusi, and Kandinsky.   About his paintings, Christian Zervos, influential critic and editor of “Cahiers d’Art,” observed that the work “is sculpture, not painting.”  Perhaps as a result, Biederman decided to focus entirely on his wall constructions and other sculpture forms. 

Back in New York, the artist continued his exploration of the relief.  These works were executed in a variety of innovative media, including nails, tacks, paint, and string, and mounted on brightly-colored wood panels.  The organic shapes he had utilized earlier in New York gave way to more purely geometric forms, and he adopted the term contructionism to describe his work.  By 1941, Biederman had become disenchanted with the New York art scene, and he returned to Chicago, moving on the following year to Red Wing, Minnesota, with his new wife, whose sister had moved to the area.  He was to remain in Red Wing the rest of his life.  His wall reliefs continued to evolve, as he began constructing them in painted aluminum, using form, color, light, and space to express nature’s most essential geometric character.

The Menconi & Schoelkopf exhibition will include fine examples from all phases of his mature work, beginning in the mid-1930s and continuing through his late wall constructions of the 1990s.



Andrew Schoelkopf,

Susan Menconi,

Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, LLC

13 East 69th Street, Suite 2F

New York, NY 10021



Tags: American art

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