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Editorial: Features
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Maxwell Hendler
at Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas
Recommendation by Devon Britt-Darby


Maxwell Hendler, ''Dude,'' 2004, resin on wood, 12 1/2 x 16 1/4''.

 

 

Continuing through August 18, 2012

 

As perfect a summer show as you could ask for, septuagenarian painter Maxwell Hendler’s first solo exhibition here marks a homecoming of sorts, since the artist grew up in Houston. But the minute you lay eyes on his seductive, glassy poured-resin paintings, you’ll think of – maybe even pine for – Los Angeles, where he’s earned his reputation as painting’s heir to the 1960s Finish Fetish sculptural movement. 

 

Mostly small or medium-sized, each painting consists of layers of resin tinted single color – make that a singular color, the kind you’ll struggle to find words to describe – poured over Masonite and obsessively wet-sanded to custom-surfboard perfection. When the paintings, which come with contagiously exuberant titles like "Love’s Attire," "Embrace Me" and "Dude," start with a white or blue ground underneath the tinted resin, they glow around the edges in a way that calls to mind the California Light-and-Space movement, particularly Doug Wheeler’s installations.

 

Their undeniably Southern California origins aside, spending time with Hendler’s paintings is like sucking on a hard candy as you duck into an air-conditioned building on a Texas summer day.

 


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