Louise Henderson

Cubist still life

Cubist still life by Louise Henderson

Artwork Detail

Louise Henderson engaged with Cubism’s intellectual vein and developed an early and influential abstract style of painting in the 1950s. Cubism introduced a cerebral charge to Henderson’s work, encouraging her to challenge traditional representations of optical experience in favour of an independent and exploratory vision. The period from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s was, arguably, Henderson’s most productive phase as she explored a range of cubist techniques, penetrating beneath the surface of the appearance of form to cast the underlying geometric structures as the subjects of her work.

Henderson returned to Europe in 1952 for further training. At Academie Frochot, her practice underwent a transformation guided by Jean Metzinger, and represents a hybrid of tradition and innovation as she explored the potential for creative transformation by mediating between modernism and history. Cubist still life, January 1954, Henderson reconstructs the traditional subject of still life into a field of flattened and interconnected geometric planes of colour. The composition balances passages of tightness with areas that open up, and the overall effect is one of lightness and energy.

Cubist still life
Louise Henderson
Production date
Jan 1954
oil on canvas
530 x 845 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2019
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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