Jack Wendler 1973 is a pen and ink line portrait drawing of the American collector and art dealer Jack Wendler. Wendler ran an art gallery in London between 1971 and 1974, exhibiting American and European artists such as Lawrence Weiner (born 1942), Robert Barry (born 1936), Jan Dibbets (born 1941), Ian Wilson (born 1940), Douglas Huebler (1924–1997), John Baldessari (born 1931), Mario Merz (1925–2003), Hanne Darboven (born 1941), Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) and John Murphy (born 1945). Wendler, with his wife Nell, was friendly with Flanagan and his family, and he owned Flanagan’s sculpture Edge Hill Piece 1975. In 1973, Wendler commissioned Flanagan to make drawings of his family, and this drawing was done at that time though was not part of the commission. At this time Flanagan made similar drawings and etchings of friends and neighbours. Portrait etchings that have a diaristic flavour include Richard Alston c.1971–2 (Tate P02774), Richard Hamilton Working 1972 (Tate P02775), Tom Raworth 1972 (Tate P02784) and Larry Weiner 1973 (Tate P02792).
Wendler is depicted in left profile wearing glasses and looking slightly down, the drawing encompassing his head and shoulders. Drawing was of central importance to Flanagan’s practice throughout his life, and he employed a vocabulary that remained consistent in its relationship to his sculptural concerns – for instance with vessels, coils, links, spirals and particular imagery such as the hare – or as part of a process of direct observation, as is the case here with Jack Wendler
The archive of the Jack Wendler Gallery is held at Tate Archive (TGA 200911).Further reading
Barry Flanagan, exhibition catalogue, Fundación “la Caixa”, Madrid 1993.
Barry Flanagan, Seeing Round Corners, exhibition catalogue, Waddington Galleries, London 2001.
Barry Flanagan, Sculpture 1965–2005, exhibition catalogue, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin 2006.