Bill Henson NGV
Out of print August 2020
Bill Henson's powerful and edgy images approach the painterly and the cinematic, bringing formal and classical qualities to the gritty, casual dramas of the everyday. Images range from sublime landscapes and nudes to classical sculpture shown in museum settings, all heightened by the velvet-like blackness of the shadows and the striking use of chiaroscuro to selectively obscure and reveal form. Henson's nudes portray his subjects as self-contained, focused on internal reveries; his landscapes are photographed at twilight, underscoring the transitional mood of the moment; and his museum images juxtapose graceful marble statues against the transfixed visitors observing them. Beautiful, enigmatic and unforgettable, Henson's images enliven our own sense of being.