Ydessa Hendeles is a German-born Canadian artist-curator and philanthropist. She is also the founding director of the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto, Ontario.
Hendeles is an adjunct professor with the Department of Art History at the University of Toronto, where she has endowed the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation Distinguished Lecturer on Art series of presentations. In 2009, she donated 32 works of International and Canadian contemporary art to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the most significant single gift of contemporary art in the gallery’s history. The donation led the institution to cite her as one who “has brought a distinctive Canadian perspective to the world stage while setting a standard for art philanthropy.”
Ydessa Hendeles is a pioneering exponent of curating as a creative artistic practice. Blurring the borders between collector, curator and artist, she has fashioned her own distinctive space in the contemporary art world. Beginning in the early 1990s, Hendeles began to incorporate her own artistic projects into her exhibition program at the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto and continued to do so until the gallery closed in 2012, after 25 years and the passing of her mother. Hendeles' psychologically charged works have been exhibited at: New Museum, New York (2016); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2016); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Germany (2016); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015); König Galerie, Berlin (2012); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2011); Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany (2010); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2010); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2004); and Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2003).
Ydessa Hendeles is represented by Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Toronto. She now divides her time between studios in Toronto and New York.