Ingeborg ten Haeff

Summary Biography

born in Duesseldorf, Germany.

1933-40 studies voice and music with Maria Schultz-Dornburg and Walter Frank in Berlin.

1940 first marriage to Dr. Lutero Vargas, son of Dr. Getulio Vargas, President of Brazil, moves to Rio de Janeiro, becomes Brazilian citizen.

1942 studies sculpture with Polish émigré sculptor Count August Zamoyski in Rio.

1944-5 receives Rockefeller fellowship for study at the Julliard School in New York.

1947-8 divorces, returns to New York from Brazil, works as assistant to art connoisseur and dealer J.B. Neumann.

1948 second marriage to architect and city planner Paul Lester Wiener, becomes U.S. citizen.

1948-56 extensive travel and long sojourns in Latin America as Wiener, in partnership with Josep Lluis Sert and le Corbusier, prepares master plans for Lima, Bogota, and other cities; collects pre-Colombian and Spanish colonial art.

1953 begins regular summer residence in Amagansett.

1957 begins to draw and paint under the guidance of Elsa Tennhardt, an artist and art instructor at New York University, and a longtime resident of Southampton.

1967 death of second husband, Paul Lester Wiener.

1969 marries Slavist and translator John Lawrence Githens, assistant professor of Russian at Vassar College.

1976, 1980 extensive travel and residence in Central America

1977, 1978 extensive travel and residence in Japan and South Korea.

1982, 1984 sojourns in Burma and Indonesia.

1989, 1992 extended stays in Thailand.

Selected Exhibitions

1963-4 participates in traveling group exhibition Sudamericanische Kunst der Gegenwart : 6/3- 9/1/63 Haus der Stadtischen Kunstsammlungen, Bonn; 1/12-2/9/64 Akademie der Kunst, Berlin; March-April 1964 Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany.

1966 one person show at The New School Associates Gallery, New York, NY.

group show at the Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY.

1969 one person show at the Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY.

major retrospective exhibition at the Hudson River Museum Yonkers NY, Two Visions of Space, with 45 paintings by ten Haeff and 69 paintings by Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer.

1971 group show Long Island Painters , at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, jury award by Mr. Edward Fry of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1972 group show 20th Annual Fine Arts Awards at the Parrish Museum, Southampton, jury award by Ms. Lansner of MOMA, leading to a subsequent show of 11 works at the Parrish Museum
in November.

1973 group show Flowers , curated by Christophe de Menil with the assistance of Donald Droll and Paul Magriel, at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY.

1974 group show Then and Now curated by Eloise Spaethe at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, contrasting early and recent works by Tony Rosenthal, Jimmy Ernst, Ibram Lassaw, Sid Solomon, Alfonso Ossorio and Ingeborg ten Haeff.

1976 one person show at Galerias Mer-Kup in Polanco, Mexico City.

1980 group show A Point of View at Guild Hall Museum,

East Hampton, NY, curated by Harrriet Vicente, and including five drawings from ten Haeff's Chiromancy series.

1980 One person show of 25 drawings from the Chiromancy series at the Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY.

group show Portraits, Real and Imagined at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, curated by Eloise Spaethe and including portraits of author Dwight Macdonald and of artist Balcomb Greene from the Chiromancy series.

1983 jury award by Mr. Saul Wenegrat, curator of the art collections of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, for drawing exhibited at the 45th Annual Artist Members Exhibition at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY.

1988 particpates in the 3rd Annual Invitational Exhibition at the Benton Gallery, Southampton, NY.

1989 one person show at the Benton Gallery, Southampton, NY.

1992 group show Free Spirits at the Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY.

1997 group show Abstract in Particular at the Nabi Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY.

1998 Group show Inner Realms at the Nabi Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY


illustrated exhibition catalog Two Visions of Space: Herbert Bayer and Ingeborg ten Haeff, with a monograph by Prof. Carl John Black of Bard College, published by the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, 1969, with a grant from the American Federation of Arts.

illustrated article in Excelsior, Mexico D.F. May 28,1983 "Basada en las Manos Ingeborg ten haeff Crea sus Retratos"

illustrated article in Excelsior, Mexico D.F. May 29, 1983 "Ingeborg ten Haeff Extrae de las Palmas de las Manos los Temas que su Imaginacion Convierte en Obras de Arte"

illustrated article in Excelsior, Mexico D.F. August 14, 1989

"La Palma de la Mano Revela Todos los Misterios de la Imaginacion de Ingeborg ten Haeff"

Illustrated article in Excelsior, Mexico D.F. January 12, 1990 "La Pintora Ingeborg ten Haeff Presenta su Obra in Inglaterra"

A Few Brief Observations on the Paintings
of Ingeborg ten Haeff

The materials ten Haeff favors in her paintings are oil pigments and Belgian linen canvas. Even though the substance of ten Haeff's painting is non-traditional, she prefers traditional and durable media to acrylic paints and cotton canvas. Ten Haeff works directly on her canvas, seldom, if ever, making preliminary plans or sketches. Her production is small and often laborious.

At first glance most of ten Haeff's canvases look abstract, but closer examination usually reveals indications of human and animal forms. ten Haeff's painting has always inclined toward representation, primarily representation of her intuitions into the mysterious inner workings of the human psyche, where dissonant voices and fragmentary forces forge imperfect but persistent unities. As the late art critic Harold Rosenberg observed, "ten Haeff's paintings are an extraordinary kind of inward thinking. I stress the thinking, though of course these thoughts begin in vision and feeling."

Often these meditations in paint are of a general, metaphysical nature, but sometimes reflect an intuitive apprehension of the inner workings of specific personalities. For this reason ten Haeff occasionally gives the title, or subtitle, of portrait to some of her paintings, even though these paintings bear scant resemblance to the likenesses of conventional portraiture.

Like the mysterious tropes of dreams, the characteristic structures of ten Haeff's painting, that is, the ambiguous relations between figure and ground, between outline and detail, the tenuous and shifting balances of plane against plane and shape against shape forge subtle, unforseen unities out of discontinuous, unrelated prospects and spaces. In this fashion painterly gesture and compositional structure serve to describe the topology of feeling.

The late Felix Guattari, co-author of L'Anti-Oedipe , has observed that ten Haeff's paintings address their subject on either the molar or the molecular level. While some of ten Haeff's images approach the simplicity and massivity of iconic form, others invoke complexity of intricate detail, envisaging inchoate bestiaries of comforting and tormenting animals and animalcules that specify the philogeny of human thought and vision.

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