04
Dec
11

Exhibition: ‘Bill Henson: early work from the MGA collection’ at the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide

Exhibition dates: 14th October – 16th December 2011

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Many thankx to the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Bill Henson
Untitled
1990-91
55/100 from the series Paris Opera Project
Type C photograph
130 × 130cm
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

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“Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) holds one of the largest collections of photographs by Bill Henson. With its concentration on work made between 1977 and 1992, the MGA collection represents a significant survey of Henson’s early career, from which twenty-nine works have been selected for the Bill Henson: early work from the MGA collection exhibition.

Henson has been described as a ‘passionate and visionary explorer’, and has been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally for over three decades, yet this is the first exhibition dedicated to this major artist’s work to be presented in Adelaide.

Passionate discussion about Henson’s work in the Australian media in recent times, has served to illuminate an important debate about the nature of art. But while many of us may be familiar with Henson’s images through reproduction, to view a museum exhibition of the artist’s photographs offers a much deeper appreciation of his art, and is a rare opportunity for audiences to themselves experience his work first hand.

The ‘in conversation’ event is a highlight to accompany a very special exhibition at the Samstag Museum from one of Australia’s most distinguished artists. Bill Henson: early work from the MGA Collection, with selected recent landscapes offers South Australians a unique opportunity to experience the power and beauty of the work of Bill Henson, Australia’s best-known contemporary photographer. This is the first exhibition dedicated to this major artist’s work ever to be presented in Adelaide.

The exhibition features twenty-nine iconic images from many of Henson’s major series from the 1970s through to the early 1990s, all drawn from the Monash Gallery of Art, who hold one of the largest collections of Henson’s work in the country.

For many, the experience of Henson’s extraordinary work has been through its reproduction in the media. However, it is important to view the actual photographs as this offers a much richer visual experience. All of the early work in the exhibition was printed by hand in the darkroom, and consequently the uneven surfaces of the black and white photographs have a mysterious, alchemic quality not present in reproductions of Henson’s images.

Alongside the MGA Collection exhibition, the Samstag Museum is presenting a selection of recent landscape photographs by Henson. These are works of compelling power and continue the artist’s fascination with a diverse range of subject matter. Through them we explore an island of rocky outcrops, monoliths rising dramatically from the ocean and waterfalls captured in a blaze of light.”

Text and press release from the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art website

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Bill Henson
Untitled 61
1985/86
Type C colour photograph
128 × 100cm
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

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Bill Henson
Untitled 57
1985/86
Chromogenic print
106.0 x 86.0 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

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Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
Hawke Building, City West campus
University of South Australia
55 North Terrace, Adelaide
T: (08) 8302 0870

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays 2 – 5pm

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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