"Does the release of feeling, any feeling, mean disorder, disarray, anarchy? Or does each feeling have a form and flow for which we can create a visual embodiment? What is the order and flow of violence?" -Elias Friedensohn 1975

The artist contemplated this question through the sculptures he created using vintage hat blocks. Reminiscent of the human form, but gone terribly awry, eyes are replaced by ears, mouths are filled with fangs, and an enticing pucker is held at bay by the lance-like nails surrounding it. These sculptures embody an order and flow of violence that repulses, yet feels familiar to our human nature. Despite the overwhelming grotesqueness, one can't help but feel that Friedensohn is poking fun at the viewer's squeamishness. The nails piercing the eyes, the paint that feels so much like dried blood, doesn't serve to push us away, but to invite us to meditate on these questions along with the artist. In Friedensohn's words, 'Nobody likes to eat crow. It has a bad taste.' Yet crows also proved to be deeply fascinating to him. His watercolor studies of these birds that lurk on gallows, and devour the old and weak of its own family are another element of his oeuvre. A mixture of violence and humor, Friedensohn'ts paintings speak for themselves.




Education

1942-43
Tyler School of Fine Arts, Temple University
1948
Queens College, BA
1949-51
Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

Awards and Grants

1951
Lowe Foundations Award
1958
Thomas K. Stephens Award, National Arts Club
University of Illinois Purchase Award
Fulbright Grant, Italy
1960
Guggenheim Foundation Fellow
1969
Minneapolis Museum of Art Purchase Award
1969,70
MacDowell Fellow
1972
University of Massachusetts Purchase Award
1973
American Academy of Arts and Letters Award
1975
Bell State University Purchase Award
1982
Magnus Museum Travel Grant
1981,85
CUNY Research Foundation Grant
1981,85
New Jersey Council for the Arts Award

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016
Luise Ross Gallery, NYC
2010
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ
1997
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA
1996
Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA
1993
Queens College, CUNY, NYC
1992
Bergen Museum, Paramus, NJ
Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ
1991
A.J. Lederman Fine Arts, Hoboken, NJ
1989
Martin Sumers Graphics, NYC
1981
Judah Magnes Memorial Museum, Berkeley, CA
1977
Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
1972
Kirkland College, Clinton, NY
1978, 84, 89, 93
Jersey State College, Jersey City, NJ
1967, 70, 73, 76, 80, 85
Terry Dintenfass Gallery, NYC
1963
Feingarten Galleries, Santa Barbara, CA
1963, 64, 65, 77
Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
1963
Feingarten Galleries, San Francisco, CA
1962
Feingarten Galleries, Chicago, IL
1962, 63
Feingarten Galleries, NYC
1961
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
1958, 59, 61
Isaacson Gallery, NYC
1955, 57
Hewitt Gallery, NYC
1951
Roko Gallery, NYC

Public Collections

Whitney Museum of American Art
National Gallery of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Sara Roby Foundation
Art Institute of Chicago
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Minneapolis Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum
Arkansas Art Center
Heckscher Museum
Goodwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College, CUNY
(Kirkland) Hamilton College
Hampton Institute
University of Massachusetts
University of Oklahoma
University of Miami
Ball State University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Butler County Museum of Art and Science
Rider University