Nigel HENDERSON 1917-1985

Nigel Henderson was a documentary and experimental photographer, whose unique and pioneering process of creative assemblage position him as one of Britain's greatest collagists. His friendships with members of the Bloomsbury Group, literary figures like T.S. Elliot and Bertolt Brecht and artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Alberto Giacometti had a tremendous impact on his work and distinguished Henderson from his peers, all of whom he felt were stifled by the parochialism of the post-war British art establishment in the 1950s and 1960s. In this context, Henderson emerged as a critical conduit of information and ideas for his contemporaries, leaving a lasating legacy on artists today. He was one of the founding members of the Independent Group (IG) in 1952, and with Eduardo Paolozzi and Alison and Peter Smithson, organised the ground-breaking exhibition 'Parallel of Life' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1953.


Henderson's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including those staged at the Major Gallery, London (2006 and 2004); the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2002); 'Nigel Henderson: Parallel of Life and Art,' Gainsborough's House, Suffolk (2001); Norwich School of Art (1982); Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (1977); and 'Photo-Images,' Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1954). His work is included in the prominent collections of the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum (all London). In December 2019, his work in collage will be celebrated through a Spotlight Display at Tate Britain, titled 'Vital Fragments: Nigel Henderson and the Art of Collage.'