Jene Highstein USA — 1942

Jene Highstein installing one of his sculptures

Jene Highstein °1942

Jene Highstein was born in 1942 in Baltimore. He earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Maryland in 1963, completed postgraduate work in philosophy at the University of Chicago, and committed himself to art practice in 1966. He then went on to study drawing at the New York Studio School before earning a Post Graduate Diploma from the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1970. In the late 1960s, influenced by Minimalism, he began to work in large-scale, simplified sculptural forms, and monochromatic images on paper—often the formal foundation for future works, displayed along with sculptures. Iconic Minimalist artists, such as Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt, emphasized stark geometry and pristine surfaces. Highstein's early works—curved steel sheets and geometric pipes—largely reflected those aesthetics. However, Highstein's process evolved into the application and manipulation of wood, stone, glass, and concrete by hand, creating what appear to be organic, fundamental forms. Highstein created Flying Saucer (1977), a hulking, dark, biomorphic shape installed at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, by hand-troweling concrete over an armature. Later works have shifted from dark representations of negative space to paler forms that emphasize dimension and fullness, with subtly hand-shaped surfaces. Double Vases (1996), for example, is approximately 305 cm tall by 305 cm in diameter and its shapes resemble gently swollen storage jars, filling the room in which they are installed. Highstein has received a number of awards, including four National Endowment for the Arts grants, a John Simon Guggenheim Award, and a St. Gaudens Memorial Prize. His public sculptures are installed at sites including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Carnegie Bank collection, Stockholm; and the Villa e Collezione Panza Villa Litta, Varese, Italy; and he has had solo exhibitions at the Hartford Art Center, West Hartford, Connecticut (2000); Art Museum of Memphis (2001); and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, New York (2003), among others. In 1998, he produced a theater production, Flatland, for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, and in 2004 he collaborated with the architect Steven Holl on an ice structure for the Snow Show in Finnish Lapland. Highstein died on April 27, 2013 in Salem, New York. (source: Guggenheim)
Jene Highstein, untitled, graphite on paper, 1980, 76x112 cm, signed and dated, framed


21.04.23   Vernissage ‘Between the red lines’ – A thought-provoking vernissage is held in our pop-up space to officially open Yes but no. This exhibition showcases paintings from both local talent as well as internationally acclaimed artists and spans across multiple art movements and periods. Please feel welcome to join and have a chat (or not) about the collection.