1 April – 30 April 2022
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is thrilled to present photographs by internationally acclaimed artist Bill Henson, in a special solo exhibition marking the 20th anniversary of the iconic monograph Lux et Nox, first published in Switzerland by Scalo in 2002. In a career that has spanned more than forty years, Henson's extraordinary images are in contrast and counterpoint to the tumult and opinionation of our times. His dazzling city lights deliquesce, they alternate and oscillate and metamorphose into lustrous landscapes and his dark shadowy roads fade into night with its dislocated apprehension of time. In these intermediary no man’s lands, the realms where figures teeter on the precipice of adolescence and fall, or fail to, into some postulated adult state there is the languor of twilight, the dusk that overtakes the outskirts of cities, where industry and romance edge into each other. As with a musical scale of which the mind is barely conscious, tone and light mutate and the mastery of images that might be painterly take on their own power and glory. In this consequent tension between the insinuation of the mystical and the instantiation of the real there is the hallucination of texture and the laying bare of fugitive emotion. The subject seems to have been universalised. The images seem to have an analogue with the power that arises in the paintings of the Old Masters.
Bill Henson represented Australia at the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995. Henson’s solo exhibitions include: Bill Henson, National Gallery of Victoria and Bill Henson, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2017), Cloud Landscapes, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2013), Bill Henson: Three Decades of Photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005), Bill Henson, Centro de Fotografia, University of Salamanca, Spain (2003), Bill Henson, Scalo, Zurich, Switzerland (2001), Bill Henson, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1993), Bill Henson Photography, Denver Art Museum (1989), Bill Henson Photographs, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, (1990) and Bill Henson Fotografien, Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna (1989).
Henson had his first solo exhibition, at the age of 19, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975. The NGV has now acquired over 100 Henson works, the most significant of any public institution. Henson’s work is held in every major public collection in Australia and many overseas collections including San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, USA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, Denver Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Art, 21C Museum, Louisville, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Sammlung Volpinum, Vienna, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Tate, London.