FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sean Henry, “You’re Not the Same”
June 2 July 8, 2006
Opening reception: Friday, June 2, 7-9pm
8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker/Marvella Muro
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Web site: http://www.forumgallery.com
Sean Henry, Standing Man (Italia), 2004, bronze and oil paint, 79 x 28 x 19 inches, ed. 3 of 4.
Los Angeles, California On June 2nd Forum Gallery will open the exhibition You're Not the Same, featuring the newest work of the British sculptor Sean Henry. As an artist, Henry, who will be present during the opening, uses sculptural figures as convincing representations of life. They draw you into their states of mind with the convincing illusion of animation and thought. His work has an assured, up-front humanity, used to portray the modern "everyday heroes" of contemporary society.
His most ambitious recent project to date - the three-piece sculpture entitled You're Not the Same, (2005) inspired by Edward Albee’s play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2004) will be on view. You're Not the Same depicts three painted bronze versions of the same man, each figure created a third smaller than the last. The figures seem to be in a silent exchange with each other, but this dialogue has been imagined by us as viewers. The work encourages us to cross-refer between the three figures, comparing not just the physical differences between them, but their contrasting psychologies.
Color is central to Sean Henry's sculpture. He is one of very few contemporary artists who grapple with the challenges of polychrome sculpture, which has been the subject of animated academic debate since the eighteenth century. Henry has informed himself of the long tradition in which he works and has mapped out his own co-ordinates for proceeding. Having become adept at the manipulation of scale, almost always avoiding exact life-size representation. His most recent figure of a casually dressed young woman, almost 9 feet tall, is disarmingly causal while defying a number of sculptural conventions. The situational ambiguity that is central to Henry's work is amplified here and conveyed in her gaze.
Henry's figures are never shown laughing, crying, speaking, frowning, raising their eyes in amazement, or otherwise physically expressing themselves. Their identities and personalities remain largely a mystery, or are at most only hinted at by some unselfconscious hand gesture, by their contemporary dress, or by a judiciously placed fashion slogan or symbolic object: the word 'Italia', an orange, a cup, or even protective kneepads. The artist has always been interested in what clothes do to a figure, but their importance in his work is easily taken for granted. He has a way of alighting on a certain kind of contemporary dress that speaks meaningfully, not just of prevailing fashion, but of the deeper drives that inform our identities as citizens of an advanced consumer society.
Born 1965 in England, Sean Henry currently lives and works in London. In 1987, he received his BA in Ceramics from the Bristol Art School, England. His works are in the collections of the Frisia Museum, Spanbroekerweg, Holland; Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, Sussex, UK; Paddington Central Development, London, UK; University of Virginia Art Museum, USA; Holland Park, Kensington, London, UK; River and Rowing Museum, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK; Le Meridien Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London, UK; Lower Grainger Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Royal British Legion, Pall Mall, London, UK.
Sean Henry: You’re Not the Same opens with a reception on June 2, from 7 9:00 pm, and will be on view through July 8, 2006. An illustrated catalogue with essay by Tom Flynn will accompany the exhibition.