Ancient art forms and wisdom traditions have become the source as well as the intent of Kende’s imagery.

The Kende family escaped from then communist ruled Hungary in late 1956. Landing in N.Y. City, ten year old Ivan was restless from a long plane ride. On a string of fortunate coincidences and an out of the blue impulse,             he made a small, first sketch that afternoon.                                                   He has been drawing ever since.                                                                    By the 1990’s, his early realistic approach to painting simplified into formal compositions that portrayed visions of the ethereal with the textures derived from Acrylics and Conté pastels.



Around 2005, in an ornery, absent minded moment in his studio, he fashioned a rudimentary sculpture out of some leather scraps. The primordial nature of the material and a construction technique he invented years earlier, seamlessly fused form and content possible with hard leather grasped from African tribal masks. The felt sense of the primitive encountered, he delved into the arts of other early cultures. The magical beauty of the neolithic cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira left him awestruck. The coarse, tactile, visceral feel of their pigments on the rough surfaces inspired a final leap. His original, delicate, Conté drawings on textured paper transformed into large, gritty, pastels on canvas. His ethreal subject matter expanded to drawing allegories that one might find in an unsiscovered grotto.

Finding nourishment in the artistic and metaphysical traditions of many ancient cultures, Kende presents visions of a marvelous, mysteriously beautiful world that contain a hint of the modern, a sense of the ancient and sometimes a touch from the primordial.


Select Solo Exhibits

2021   Flatlanders Gallery, Blissfield, Mi

2017   Art on Madison, Lakewood, OH (Cleveland)

2012   River House Arts, Perrysburg, OH

2011   Gallery 56, Memphis, TN

2010   Flatlanders Gallery, Blissfield, MI (three person exhibit )

2009   Schedel Gallery & Arboretum, Toledo, OH

2006   The Tom James Gallery, Northville, MI

2005   Turkaly Gallery, Cleveland, OH

           Chelsea Gallery, Chelsea, MI (two person exhibit)

2003   Chelsea Gallery, Chelsea, Mi

2002   Toledo Museum of Art, Westgate Gallery, Toledo, H

2001   Chelsea Gallery, Chelsea, Michigan

           Pierre Paul Gallery, Ann Arbor,MI

1998   Yribar Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI


Select Group Exhibits

2011  Flatlanders Gallery, Blissfield, MI

2010  Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH “Art Inspires ArtExhibition

           River House Arts, Perrysburg, OH

2009   The French Art Colony, Gallipolis, OH

2008   Paoli House Gallery, Madison. WI

2007   Parkwood Gallery, Toledo, OH

           Secor Gallery, Toledo, OH

2004   Turkaly Gallery, Cleveland, OH

2002   Toledo Museum of Art, TAA Exhibit, Toledo, OH

2000   Caelum Gallery, New York, N.Y. / Hiroshima, Japan

           Pierre Paul Gallery, Ann Arbor, Mi

1999   Clare Spitler Works of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

           Gallery 212, Ann Arbor, MI

1998  Caelum Gallery, New York, N. Y.

1995  Jan Miller Gallery, St. Augustine, FL


1960 – 64  The Art Students’ League, New York, N.Y.