James Hyman Gallery is honoured to announce our representation of The Estate of Nigel Henderson (1917–1985) and excited to offer works from the Estate that have never previously been available. We exhibited a selection of works at the London Art Fair 2022.
Championed as "a seminal figure in post-war British art" by the great art critic David Sylvester, Henderson was recently the subject of a magnificent exhibition at Tate Britain Vital Fragments: Nigel Henderson and the Art of Collage as the culmination of major research project by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.
Henderson's creative career spanned fine art, photography, exhibition-making and interior design. At the heart of his practice was the photographic image and collage. His experimental approach to photography occupies a unique place in British art created by the documentary legacy of Bill Brandt and Picture Post, the distortions of Andre Kertesz and the experimental processes of the Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus.
In his collage work, Henderson combined printed matter, paint and photography as well as using fragments of image and text in order to activate them in new ways. He wrote: ‘I want to release an energy of image from trivial data. I feel happiest among discarded things, vituperative fragments cast casually from life, with the fizz of vitality still about them.’ His works bring the visual detritus of modern British life into dialogue with imagery from other places and periods. They reflect on the passing of time, the ruins of war, and the crumbling of empires. Henderson’s collages also engage with the historical legacies of collage: with the Victorian hobby of ‘découpage’, for instance, and with the subversive collages of dada and surrealist artists, from Hannah Höch to Kurt Schwitters. At the same time, his pieces respond to more recent artistic developments, including the rough textures of brutalism and the bold graphics of pop art. More broadly, they engage with the visual culture of their own time and cast a critical eye across contemporary images intended to stimulate aspiration, consumption and desire.