Matt Henry (born 1973) lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand. He received his MFA from Melbourne’s RMIT University in 2008 and his work is held in public and private collections including the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade; Wallace Arts Trust and Elevation Capital Art Collection.
Selected solo shows and representation in group/thematic exhibitions include: Double Grammar Zone, PHOTO OP. (2022); Space Suit, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2018); Long Division, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2016); Personal Recordings, Goya Curtain, Tokyo (2016); High Fidelity, Starkwhite, Auckland (2013); From the series 16:9, Sydney Non Objective (2012); Melbourne International Art Fair (2012); User Friendly, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland (2011); Vernacular Painting, Starkwhite, Auckland (2011); Contraflow, Starkwhite, Auckland (2010).
Henry’s minimalist paintings, photographs and installations summon contextual shifts through altered scale, media and materials. Playful and often incongruous, his paradoxically mimetic form of non-objective art invites new readings and interactions between art and the everyday.
His interest in certain objects at the intersection of art and design invite moments of flux which Michael Wilson describes as a blurring of function into form with “…paintings and objects that riff on the visual similarity of contemporary high-tech product design and Judd-era sculptural Minimalism” (ARTFORUM, critics’ picks, 5 April 2009).
With the series 16:9, Henry imagined non-objective abstraction as a simulacrum of the contemporary wall-mounted television. Simultaneously framing the referential and phenomenological, these reductive yet deliberately illusionistic works hide in plain sight only asserting their status as paintings upon close observation.
Henry is currently working on two photographic series Redactions and Field Notes. These projects draw from previous painting and installation works (Double Grammar Zone, Analogues, Long Division) foregrounding an aesthetic confluence between high art and high street and the references they make to consumerism and commodification.
McAvoy, Emil. (2016). [Voodoo Ray vs. Zombie Modernism]. Matt Henry: Long Division [exhibition catalogue]. New Plymouth: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.
Atticus, Todd. (2011, Nov 1). Southside Arts Festival: Matt Henry – User Friendly [Web log]. Retrieved from http://spindlemagazine.com/2011/11/from-southside-arts-festival%E2%80%A8%E2%80%A8-matt-henry-user-friendly/
Phillips, Bruce E. (2012, Feb 1). Painting Obsolescence [catalogue text] From the Series 16:9, Sydney Non Objective, 2012.