• Ted Halkin
    Untitled
    1950s
    box construction
    8 x 11 x 3 inches

  • Ted Halkin
    Untitled
    1967-69
    colored pencil on paper
    22 1/4 x 28 1/4 inches

  • Ted Halkin
    Untitled
    1967-69
    colored pencil on paper
    22 1/4 x 28 1/4 inches

  • Photograph of Ted Halkin


BIO

b. 1924

Chicago native Theodore Halkin received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute in 1949, and an MS from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1952. His early paintings and reliefs, inspired by cave paintings he saw while traveling in Europe, were often exhibited with the group of Chicago artists who were nicknamed the “Monster Roster” because of their fascination with morbid or mythological imagery.

Since the 1960s, as part of the initial group referred to as the Imagists, Halkin has pursued his own ideas wherever they’ve taken him, vehemently avoiding stagnation, hungry for new experiences. He has worked in many different ways, with different means. Painting, drawing, sculpting; figurative, abstract; flat, relief, 3-D; narrative, non-objective, observational.

Halkin’s most recent paintings share with his earliest work a fascination with hieroglyph-like shapes and mottled fields of muted color, though the palette is overall less subdued and the forms less abstract. These newest paintings, like the vintage ones, also imply continuation beyond the edges. They gently refuse or downplay the constraint of a border. And the wisdom gained through decades of research has returned him, in some ways, back to the same kinds of shapes and a similar disposition of forms that he used initially, as a restless young artist. Similarities imagined according to the same basic sensibility, crafted by the very same hands.

Throughout his career Halkin has been the subject of multiple solo exhibitions at Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago; Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago; and Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York. His work has been included in group shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Modern art, and the Davenport Museum of Art, Iowa. He has taught at Purdue University, Northwestern University, Elmhurst College, and for almost forty years at the School of the Art Institute.