Henry “Hank” LeGrande Waddell, Jr.
As a youth my most of my extra minutes
were settled in the woods of what was then the outskirts of Houston,
8 miles from downtown. I named my favorite trees in different sections
of woods. I sat in the tops of pines and would watch storms approach
holding on for a wild ride as the wind gusted. The tops of the biggest
oaks were reserved for the arrangement of plywood picnic tables
with blocks of 2x12’s attached to the limbs for our chairs.
A grove of pines that all seeded at the same time, grew up with
us. At 10 or 12 we could travel around the 5-acre area by climbing
up in the pine. When it would lean over as far as it would we grabbed
another and climbed up once again, then again, and again. This made
for great way to race across the woods but soon the trees out grew
us and would not bend over enough for our game. Today in my work
I continue to hold conversation with trees to make sure their end
is the way they would like it to be.
My sculpture is that place and time turned into a
concrete acknowledgment of the unpredictable ramifications of our
arrogance, our ego and, our need for more.
Born October 17, Henry LeGrande Waddell, Jr born in Houston, Texas
to Hazel Maxine Collins & Henry LeGrande Waddell, Sr.
Begins working in printing plant that was started in family’s
1957 – 65
Spent holidays on beach making mobiles of driftwood, fishing line,
Started working construction in summer and sub contracting extra
work evenings and weekends.
1968 – 70
Continues construction work. Made furniture from scraps found at
1970 – 71
Attends first year at Southwest Texas University
1971 – 1972
Attends Texas A&M University majoring in Civil Engineering.
Drops out and
returns to Houston and construction, works building cabinets and
instillation of finished woodwork
1972 – 3
Employed at Yost & Company in Houston. Builds furniture, procures
material and, develops construction techniques for Randy Yost furniture.
Starts cabinet business for evening and weekend
Seeking custom furniture. Meets sculptor Thom Wheeler who asked
Hank to reproduce Singer sewing parts box for Wheeler’s sculpture.
Continues producing Wheeler’s substrates and is invited to
share artist space in downtown Houston. Married Diane Selfe
1976 – 80
Enrolled in classes at Glassel School at Houston MFA.
Built first sculptures, “Hiroshima”, “Letter to
di Suvrero”, ”Louise in Redwoods”
Worked for other painters and sculptors with large-scale projects
that needed construction/engineering assistance.
Started personal library to study art and sculpture.
Second daughter born, Allison Elizabeth
Moves to Austin and commutes to Houston to assist Thom Wheeler until
Establishes LeGrande Company, Inc and takes first job building aluminum,
glass and, neon stairs in downtown restaurant “Vogue”.
Doing interior woodwork and furniture.
Build first sculpture in Austin “The Old Kitchen”
Separated from wife Diane
Starts self-awareness and healing quest
Builds snake furniture for apartment
1990 – 3
Takes art classes at ACC and Laguna Gloria
Joins Austin Visual Arts Association, enters first show Exhibit
E and wins “critics choice” and “publics choice”
with “World Bar”. Does first sculpture of dissembled
piano for bath at the Symphony Showcase House. Receives two commissions
for sculptures of dissembled pianos
Enters AVAA Exhibit F and wins critics choice with “Rachmaninov’s
1993 – 8
Continues to with interior woodwork, producing furniture and, sculpture.
Made plans to become a full time sculptor, brought thousands found
objects with several hundred boxes into the shop and left Austin
to visit Calder Retrospective in San Francisco. Returned to Austin
with blank state of mind, couldn’t find art in found objects
Produces 1500 polished wood cubes.
Using wood found on first construction job in Houston, produces
first sculptures with cubes “Bumps on a Log” & “Growth
from a Dead Tree”, names the series “Changing Nature”.
Receives large table commission from The University of Texas.
Starts new company for Sculpture and Furniture as Sculpture….CHRONIC
Continues to downsize construction company and focus on sculpture
with “Changing Nature” series.
August: Closes construction business the day after his youngest
daughter graduates from college
October: Visits Marfa, Texas to explore his time relationship
with minimalist art
November 1: Invited to show “Listen if You Can: A Celebration
of Collaboration” with artist of the College of Fine Arts
at University of Texas
November 12 – 30: First one-man show “Changing
Nature” at Gallery Hana in Austin, Texas and produces his
first catalogue for this show
April 1-30: Hangs Two man show with JS Hladek in IV Art Space,
San Antonio, Texas
July 25 – September 14: Second One man show at Moontower
Gallery, Austin, Texas, shows new “Changing Nature”
and the next series “The Stumps” prose accompanied some
November: Group Show @ Guadalupe Arts grand opening. Showing
a 3 furniture pieces and 2 Pedestrians
November: 1st Out Door Show @ Z’Tejas 6th Street, Austin,
TX…Pedestrians: Amazonians with 3 Pedestrians: Little People
December: Open Studio Show shows 71 pieces including the
continuation of the stump series. The first mammoth stumps, Listen
March 1: Donation of Skinny Blonde for auction, Austin Museum
of Art, Art Ball VII
March 7: Stage and Auditorium set and donation of 2 sculptures
for auction, Texas Film Society Hall of Fame Awards, Austin, Texas
April 24: Cel ebrity Seed bowl and donation of Congested
Mad to auction, 5th Annual Umlauf Garden Party, Austin, Texas
May – June: Show 6 Pedestrians at large-scale sculpture
show, Sculptors’ Dominion Invitational, San Antonio with Texas
Society of Sculptors
May 3: One man show with stage set, PlayAustin: Children’s
Advocacy Benefit, Austin, Texas
May 9 – June 18: One-man show at Blossom Street Gallery
in Houston, Texas
October – One-man show in Marfa, Texas
May 16 –17: Hello, Birdie! 2nd Annual Birdhouse Competition,
Big Red Sun, Austin, Texas
September: One-man show at Big Red Sun, Austin, Texas
October 10 – 13: One-man show, Marfa, Texas
Most of this year is spent working on concepts for new
work, paint finishes, welding and plastics
March: Texas Film Society Hall of Awards,
donation of Double Cube
April: Umlauf Garden Party…donation
of “Personal Garden”
May – June: Large-scale sculpture show,
Sculptors’ Dominion Invitational, San Antonio with Texas Society
October 8 – 11: Solo Exhibit, “Building
98”, Marfa Texas, with special guest Roi James of Austin,
Texas, showing new series the “Deductive Processes”
with automotive finishes.
January: Elected President of Texas Society of Sculptors
April: Co producer for Green Art Austin on Austin Nature Day at the Elizabeth Ney Museum, “Boat Float”. Program to bring family to nature building boats from recycled lawn materials
April: Umlauf Garden Party…donation of Celebrity Seed Pot, “Chrome Barn” and Sculpture for auction “Raspberry Tie”
April-May: Large-scale sculpture show, Sculptors’ Dominion Invitational, San Antonio with Texas Society of Sculptors
May: 5 X 7 Show at the Art House in Austin, Texas. All 3 pieces tags are pulled at opening night
May: Showing at Café Azul, Austin Texas, and the Comet is coming.
June: Participant in Green Wave by Green Art Austin, American for the Arts Public Art Network Conference. Opening reception talk on Permaculture and his arts relationship to environmental issues.
October: Marfa, Texas….he will be there
Where is my Armadillo?
Berry Field - Pitchers Mound
Secret House - Fire Station
Naked Pond - Apartments
Mushrooms - Shopping Center
Fishing Tank - Igloo Corp