Nicholas Hondrogen: Mumonkan Series


October 10, 2007

Nicholas Hondrogen: Mumonkan Series

October 6 – November 18, 2007


383 main street

Amherst, MA 01002

tel. 413-256-6600

fax 413-256-6699

wünderarts is pleased to present Nicholas Hondrogen: Mumonkan Series 1996-1998. The exhibition of 21 works is being shown for the first time and has been organized in association with the Nicholas Hondrogen Trust. It runs from October 6 – November 18, 2007.

Nicholas Hondrogen (1952-2007) was a prolific painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. A part of the art-star generation of 1980s New York, Hondrogen had more in common and spirit with the Minimalists and Conceptualists of decades prior. The artist began his career in Paris in the early 1970s following an accelerated course of study at the Boston Museum School. Achieving almost immediate recognition in Europe, Hondrogen enjoyed numerous solo exhibitions and was collected by both individuals and notable public institutions. He returned to the U.S. in the early 1980s, settling in New York City where he founded a successful design and contracting business and refocused his art toward filmmaking. Hondrogen’s award-winning 1997 film, Perfect Moment, created after his move to Los Angeles, documents the life-defining recollections of a wide-range of individuals both famous (Philip Glass, Vincent Gallo, Norman Lear) and unknown. Hondrogen was the recipient of two Pollack-Krasner grants in 2000 and 2005. For more information about Nicholas Hondrogen, please visit his website,

The series is based on the Zen concepts of Mumonkan or the “gateless gate.” Beginning in 1996 and continuing through 2000, Hondrogen painted over one hundred works on translucent mylar. The artist’s original intention was to photograph each painting and then enlarge them on Duratrans to the same size of the originals. These images would then be displayed on lightboxes. The paintings were to be destroyed with the reproductions serving as the “original.” However, the work was never destroyed and reproduced as planned. In the spirit of the artist’s original intent, a reproduction of the painting “Negotiating/Desperation” will be presented in this manner. The corresponding original will also be on view.

The Nicholas Hondrogen Trust was formed in February 2007 at the time of the artist’s death. Hondrogen’s long time patron and supporter Jeff Vespa was chosen to chair the estate, with the artist’s brother John acting as a trustee. Mumonkan Series marks the Trust’s inaugural show. In conjunction with the show, the Trust will also be publishing a 46-page color catalog.

wünderarts is an independently owned and operated commercial art gallery dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of high-quality contemporary and conceptual art. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm, and by appointment. For more information about wünderarts, please visit

Contact: Tony Maroulis, 413.256.6600, [email protected]