John Githens ten Haeff

ISBN 13: 9780974703008

ten Haeff

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"Ten Haeff’s paintings," wrote the critic Harold Rosenberg, "are an extraordinary kind of inward thinking. I stress the thinking, though of course these thoughts begin in vision and feeling." Abstract in style, mysterious in mood, they nonetheless work to evoke the inner nature of some particular personality, emotion, or relationship. Some are in fact portraits of friends such as Tennessee Williams and Willem de Kooning, others bear mythological or poetic titles.

An artist whose own life resembles a work of art, Ingeborg ten Haeff left her native Germany on the eve of World War Two and sailed to Rio de Janeiro to wed the son of the president of Brazil. Following the war, and the end of that marriage, she moved to New York, where she worked at a gallery and met the noted architect Paul Lester Wiener, who became her second husband. At that time she began for the first time to study seriously the art of painting, having trained previously as an actress and musician.

Since the 1960s she has exhibited at a number of galleries and museums in the New York area and beyond, including the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, Guild Hall in East Hampton, and most recently the Nabi Gallery in Chelsea.

Paul Wiener died in 1967, and she is now married to John Lawrence Githens, a translator and scholar of Slavic languages with whom she shares an art-filled apartment on Washington Square and frequent travels in Asia, Central and South America, and Europe.

Ten Haeff, the book, is profusely illustrated with images of the artist's work and photographs from her life, which is explored in a biographical essay by Mr. Githens. The text also includes an essay by critic Phyllis Braff and an afterword by Val Schaffner, an author who with his wife Min-Myn owns the Nabi Gallery.

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