CL SH481 N31, 2005-2006
50 x 70 inches
Edition of five
March 26—April 24, 2004
The exhibition will consist of 15 large-scale color photographs from the past five years. Standing apart from current trends in large-scale color photography, Bill Henson makes each print himself. By maintaining direct contact with every stage of the process he is able to achieve a subtle specificity that makes his work unique.
Henson is a passionate and visionary explorer of twilight zones, between day and night, nature and civilization, youth and adulthood, male and female. His photographs of landscapes at dusk, of the industrial no-man’s land at the outskirts of cities, of androgynous girls and boys adrift in the nocturnal turmoil of adolescence are painterly tableaux that continue the tradition of romantic literature and painting in the post-industrial age.
The painters Rembrandt and Vermeer have had a profound effect on Henson’s style. Chiaroscuro, translucent skin tones, and jewel-like colors add an ethereal quality to these voyeuristic settings. The images are at once beautiful and mysteriously intriguing, leaving the viewer to interpret what is taking place. After viewing Henson’s work, Peter Schjeldahl wrote, “They have haunted me ever since.”
In 1995 Henson represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. Comprehensive surveys of his work are currently being organized by the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bologna, Italy for 2004 and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia for 2005. The latest book on Henson, Lux et Nox was published by Scalo in 2002.
His work is part of every major public collection in Australia and many international collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris.