BILL HENSON (b. 1955)
Born in Melbourne in 1955, Henson had his first solo exhibition, at the age of 19, at the National Galley of Victoria in 1975. He has since exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, including at the Biennale of Sydney in 1986 and 2000. He represented Australia at the 1995 Venice Biennale.
Henson's work is held in all major Australian collections including the Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery of SA, Art Gallery of WA, National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia.
Among international collections, Henson's work is held in the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, 21C Museum, Louisville, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the DG Bank Collection in Frankfurt, and the Sammlung Volpinum and the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.
Bill Henson is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists. His powerful and edgy photographs approach both the painterly and the cinematic, bringing together the formal and classical with the gritty, casual dramas of the everyday. Henson defines and redefines his subjects with a rigour that is inseparable from his technical command. He is a master of the use of light and dark in the tradition of the great European painters. Beautiful, confronting, and unforgettable his images capture a universal essence and enliven our own sense of being.
"Henson's images are carefully choreographed moments of suspenseful drama, veritable symphonies of decadence and beauty, of squalor and opulence, of mysterious darkness and ominous light, of quiet obsession and subversive ecstasy". Edmund Capon, Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales
(Art Gallery, NSW)