Nigel HENDERSON (1917 - 1985)

Nigel Henderson was a documentary and experimental photographer and artist whose influence in British art in the 1950s and 1960s was immense. His extraordinary life and work included friendships with a number of the Bloomsbury circle as well as such literary figures as T.S Elliot and Bertolt Brecht. Included in the social and artistic milieu of Peggy Guggenheim in the mid-1930s, Henderson befriended key French Surrealists Marcel Duchamp and Alberto Giacometti. These friendships had a tremendous impact on his work and would mark Henderson out of the young generation of artists with whom he was mixing (namely, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton), all of whom felt stifled by the parochialism of the post-war British art establishment. In this context, Henderson emerged as a critical conduit of information and ideas for his contemporaries. He was one of the founding members of the Independent Group in 1952, and with Paolozzi and the Smithsons organized the groundbreaking exhibition 'Parallel of Life' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1953).

 

Recent Group Exhibitions at the Firstsite Colchester in 2013 and at Tate Britain in 2015 has cemented his reputation and great influence on British Art in the 50s and 60s. His work is included in the collections of the Tate, National Portrait Gallery and V&A.