Dina Wind’s “Wheelbarrow” in the Hechinger Collection of 20th Century Art
What began in the 1980s as an initiative to make his rapidly expanding hardware company’s new headquarters appear less bare resulted in John Hechinger, Sr.’s acquisition of a tool-inspired collection of diverse 20th century art. The complete Hechinger Collection, featuring nearly 400 works, was then donated to International Arts & Artists in 2003 by the hardware-industry pioneer. The collection’s holdings of prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures represent a variety of modern and contemporary art that incorporates tools and hardware. Among the notable artists whose work is included are: Berenice Abbott, Arman, Jim Dine, William Eggleston, Richard Estes, Walker Evans, Red Grooms, Jacob Lawrence, Fernand Léger, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist among others. One of Dina Wind’s assemblage sculptures of painted steel and hardware, “Wheelbarrow”, was acquired for the collection during the 1990’s. The piece is a prominent example of her artistic style.
This art collection celebrates the ubiquity of tools in our lives with work that magically transforms utilitarian objects into fanciful works of beauty, surprise, and wit. Some of the artists represent tools with reverence to accentuate their purity of design. Others transform and distort tools to highlight their tragic obsolescence in a technological age. But all of the works remind us that tools embody the can-do spirit that defines America and the quest to improve our quality of life.
Selections from International Arts & Artists’ Hechinger Collection are on view in the organization’s offices and are also exhibited at the Hillyer Art Space. International Arts & Artists regularly allows groupings from the collection to tour, such as with the exhibition ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection.
International Arts & Artists is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally. For more information about the Hechinger Collection or International Arts & Artists, please visit their website at the following link: http://www.artsandartists.org/exhibitions-hechinger/
“I felt that if I could show my associates how so many artists had celebrated the handsaw or the hammer or the paint brush, they would be aware of the intrinsic beauty of the simple objects that they handled by the tens of thousands. They were not only the focus of their workdays, but our company’s very lifeblood.”
– John Hechinger