Hank Fleischer Exhibition

Hank Fleischer with paper art

Sculpture from File Folders 2007-2021

Duderstadt Center Gallery, December 5-22, 2022

Hank Fleischer’s 98 years of life connected him to many people through many roles. He was proud to have been a WWII vet, the author of an engineering textbook, a First® Robotics judge, a trustee of the Detroit Science Center and the Carls Foundation (carlsfdn.org), vice president of Numatics, Inc., a licensed Professional Engineer, an inaugural member of the International Fluid Power Society Hall of Fame, and, from ages 84-98 an artist. His works have been shown at The Alden B. Dow Art & Science Museum, Janice Charach Gallery, The Huron Valley Council of the Arts, and The University of Michigan Gifts of Art.

His greatest joys were sharing beauty and humor as a friend, great-grandfather, grandfather, father and husband. He and Rhoda Fleischer were married for nearly 68 years. While Rhoda was alive, she was his “muse” and “editor.” In the 4-1/2 years after her death, he wrote to her nearly every day and expressed his love and inspiration in some of his most ambitious works.

When you look at a file folder, what do you see? Hank Fleischer saw the opportunity that others might find in stone, wood or clay. He saw geometric modules meeting on parallel planes, animals, architecture and stars. Starting at the age of 84, he created over 100 sculptures from file folders. He shared them with friends and family and at museum and gallery shows. He was the oldest artist at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids — twice! In his own words:

I embarked on a new venture after retiring which I call “Architectural Art”. My journey led me from cutting hexagons to drawing isometric shapes. The challenge then was to convert them to 3-D. My tools are scissors, pencils, an awl, a compass, two triangles and my trig and geometry skills. The creations begin by outlining the predetermined forms on file folders, scoring for crisp edges, cutting, folding, gluing them into polyhedrons and subsequently clustering the results into hexagrams and stars. The file folder, being readily available for repurposing, provides the proper combination of flexibility and robustness. Artists often work with self-imposed constraints to spur creativity. Most of my creations are constructed from many copies of a basic unit, varying only in color and angles. The objective in each piece is to appreciate the entire creation, yet to be aware of the individual components.

Visit Hank Fleischer’s Website

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