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b. 1955, Australia

Bill Henson Biography

Bill Henson is a widely acclaimed Australian contemporary photographer. Henson has exhibited extensively, both in his native Australia since his first solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne in 1975 at the age of 19, and internationally.

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Henson's photographs explore themes of the Romantic movement such as the Sublime in contrast with intimacy found in the everyday moment. His use of chiaroscuro and a reduced palette coupled with a tendency to underexpose creates images that recall Flemish still-lifes and the works of Caravaggio. Henson, who describes his subject matter through shadow as much as through light, manages to evoke a sense of uncertainty and beauty, not only in his figure studies but also his photographs of seemingly banal landscapes such as those in his Suburban Series.

Bill Henson represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and has been involved in a number of major exhibitions including Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003). A comprehensive survey of the artist's work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in 2005 attracted record visitor numbers for a contemporary art exhibition in Australia.

Henson's work can be found internationally in public collections at the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

Bill Henson Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled, 2017-20archival inkjet pigment print
127 x 180 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled #28 from the series Kindertotenlieder by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled #28 from the series Kindertotenlieder, 1976–2016Archival inkjet pigment print, framed
60 x 60 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled (4th D SH37 N6A) by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled (4th D SH37 N6A), 1992-93C-type photograph
193 x 127 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled #16 by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled #16, 2009/2010Archival pigment print
127 x 180 cm
Christophe Guye Galerie Enquire
Untitled #17 by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled #17, 2007/2008Archival pigment print
127 x 180 cm
Christophe Guye Galerie Enquire
Untitled by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled, 2016 /17Archival inkjet pigment print
127 x 180 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
Untitled by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled, 2016/17Archival inkjet pigment print
180 x 127 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
Untitled by Bill Henson contemporary artwork
Bill HensonUntitled, 2016 /17Archival inkjet pigment print
152.5 x 182 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery

Bill Henson Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Dale Frank, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo, Sydney Contemporary 2020 at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Open Now
1–31 October 2020 Dale Frank, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo Sydney Contemporary 2020 Roslyn Oxley9 GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, Faraway, So Close! at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Closed
6–29 May 2020 Group Show Faraway, So Close! Roslyn Oxley9 GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Bill Henson, Bill Henson at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Closed
17 May–8 June 2019 Bill Henson Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, SydneySydney

Bill Henson Represented By

Bill Henson In Ocula Magazine

Bill Henson Ocula Conversation Bill Henson By Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

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...

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Bill Henson In Related Press

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Bill Henson’s past and present collide in The light fades but the gods remain Related Press Bill Henson’s past and present collide in The light fades but the gods remain 14 August 2019, Art Guide Australia

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.

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Review: Bill Henson at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne Related Press Review: Bill Henson at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne 16 May 2018, Art Guide Australia

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...

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Close encounters at Auckland Art Fair Related Press Close encounters at Auckland Art Fair 3 June 2016, ArtAsiaPacific

If the big global fairs feel as familiar as ever, they are also increasingly alienating to many of us, because they have lost a core sense of intimacy and shared community. Generally they reflect the globalization of the market (Ai Weiwei is now perennially presented), but most often regional contexts are eschewed in favor of a grand mash-up of...

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Cuts run deep: Is Australia’s ‘coup culture’ killing its cultural heart? Related Press Cuts run deep: Is Australia’s ‘coup culture’ killing its cultural heart? 25 January 2016, Apollo Magazine

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...

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