Bill Henson has announced his first solo exhibition of new works in seven years in Sydney, at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. The use of light and dark contrast which is common throughout his works, through underexposure and adjustment in printing. His photographs’ use of bokeh is intended to give them a painterly atmosphere which draws us in.
Reviewing the Bill Henson exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2017, the critic John McDonald wrote; ‘..Entering the transformed gallery from a room of French 19th century art, the impact is stunning…. Ineffability is the keynote of Henson’s work. Even the most detailed description would not prepare viewers for the experience of standing in front of these images in a darkened room…. The landscapes are deceptively straightforward at first glance….Yet the complexity of taking the picture from exactly the right position with the right quality of light is immense. It’s one of the miracles of art that the most difficult and complicated processes result in works of pristine simplicity…
With the figure studies, Henson has posed his teenage models in inky darkness….In one of the most striking a girl rests her head on the wrist of a long, thin arm that snakes away out of darkness… The serpentine rhythms of the composition are breathtaking. There’s an immediate, primal charge; a mystery and sensuality; and a sense of mythical, archetypal associations that can be felt but not readily identified.’
Henson represented Australia at the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995. Henson’s solo exhibitions include: National Gallery of Victoria 2017 Bill Henson, and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2017), Cloud Landscapes, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2013), Bill Henson: Three Decades of Photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005), Bill Henson, Centro de Fotografia, University of Salamanca, Spain (2003), Bill Henson, Scalo, Zurich, Switzerland (2001), Bill Henson, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1993), Bill Henson Photography, Denver Art Museum (1989), Bill Henson Photographs, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, (1990) and Bill Henson Fotografien, Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna (1989).
Henson had his first solo exhibition, at the age of 19, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975. The NGV has now acquired over 100 Henson works, the most significant of any public institution. Henson’s work is held in every major public collection in Australia and many overseas collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, Denver Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Art, 21C Museum, Louisville, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Sammlung Volpinum, Vienna, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Tate, London.
Exhibition opens Friday 17 May 6-8pm and continues until Saturday 8 June 2019.
In addition to the exhibition the Sydney Art Quartet are embarking on a new collaboration with Bill Henson, performing Chiaroscuro – an evocative, dreamlike response to Henson’s latest work. This concert is set within Henson’s exhibition at Roslyn Oxley8 Gallery, for two nights only. Wednesday 22nd May, 7pm & Thursday 23rd May, 7pm at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery