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Bill Henson is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. Born in Melbourne in 1955, Henson had his first solo exhibition, at the age of 19, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975. He has since exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas, including New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Montreal, Barcelona, Vienna and Amsterdam. In 1995 Henson represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, with his celebrated series of cut-screen photographs. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of NSW.Read More
In 2003 Henson’s work appeared in Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York. In the same year he had a solo exhibition at the Centro de Fotografia, University of Salamanca, Spain. In 2005 a comprehensive survey of his work was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. This landmark survey show attracted record visitor numbers for a contemporary art exhibition in Australia. In 2006 Henson exhibited a major body of work in Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Bill Henson’s work is to be found in every major public collection in Australia including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia. Overseas collections include the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, the Sammlung Volpinum, Vienna, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
A number of major monographs on the artist’s work have appeared over the years, the most recent being Lux et Nox (2002) and Mnemosyne (2005); both published by Scalo (Switzerland). A second edition of Lux et Nox was published by Thames & Hudson in 2009.
Text courtesy Tolarno Galleries.
Faced with the daunting, but intriguing challenge of interviewing one of Australia’s most distinguished artists, Bill Henson, I did the contemporary obvious – I googled him. The result was, as one would expect, slightly polarized. His recent withdrawal of work from the Adelaide Biennale following a police complaint had...
The light fades but the gods remain, the new Bill Henson exhibition at Monash Gallery of Art (MGA), Melbourne, opens with a pairing of opposites. As you enter the exhibition, Untitled 42, 1985-86, a photograph of a suburban house with a front lawn at either dawn or dusk, is to your right.
As the lift doors open on Tolarno Galleries, where Bill Henson's latest collection of untitled photographs is currently on display, the subdued temple-like atmosphere is immediately affecting. It encourages a distinct downward-shift in gear from the bustle and blare of the street below. The blinds are drawn. The polished black surface of the floor...
In the space of five years, Australia has seen five prime ministers attempt to take the reins of an increasingly erratic and jittery federal parliament. In tandem, Australia’s art world keenly felt each twist and turn; moments of optimism were eclipsed by fear and doubt with the election of the right wing conservative government led by Tony...
Australian photographer Bill Henson is a master of chiaroscuro – his brooding images painterly studies in light and shade. "I painted and drew and made things out of clay constantly from earliest childhood," he explains to AnOther, "and only became interested in photography at the age of 13 or 14. Before that, I never imagined...
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