Hendler was a co-founder of the abstract artist collective called Group ’55. He opened his own gallery called Hendler Galleries at 1429 Spruce Street in October 1952. In the approximately year and a half that the gallery was open, he showed mostly leading New York artists, including Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and George McNeil, along with future Group ’55 members Sam Feinstein, Sanford Greenberg, and Melville Price.
Hendler studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) before serving in the Army. He later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. He painted in Paris under the GI Bill, and while there, with Paul Keene, helped found Galerie Huit, a cooperative that promoted the exchange of ideas between European and American artists. In 1958, he became head of the painting department at the Minneapolis School of Art (now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). He retired as a full professor in 1984.
Hendler’s work is in the collections of the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta; Grey Art Gallery, New York University; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.