Haendel, Bill

1926 – 2020, William G. Haendel was originally from Wisconsin, born in West Bend.  He has had exhibitions in Canada, Sweden, Italy, and England as well as many in the United States.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a M.S. degree in 1954 followed by advanced study in both Seattle, Washington and London, England.  In 1960 he was the recipient of a Fulbright Award to study silver smithing and sculpture in England.

Haendel is Professor Emeritus in Sculpture from Northern Illinois University and resided in DeKalb, Illinois.  His most notable work is cast paper.  Images are created by transferring a wet sheet of hand-mad paper to plaster molds.  These molds are created with found objects or are the direct product of the artist’s imagination.  Many of the found objects are parts of Haendel’s vast collections of old toys from construction sets to figurines of cartoon characters and those from antique molds.

His work conveys narratives and commentaries on many aspects of contemporary life.  Even though one of his pieces is called, Gates to Hell, which is an attack on nuclear power as the answer to mans’ need for energy and power, his work is typically full of visual and written puns, which enables the viewer to look carefully and search out the imagery.