Stockholm, 20.1–30.3 2014
Sean Henry’s distinctive figurative sculpture confronts the humanity in everyday men and women. His figures are both highly physical – each has a strong, individual, material presence – and also introspective. It is a combination that both seduces and challenges the viewer.
His new exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström unveils the most recent works by this internationally aclaimed artist. The Wanderer, a burly and larger-than-life-size man in an over-coat greets visitors to the gallery. His physique can be intimidating at first, but up close he reveals himself to be momentarilly lost in thought, making the work both vunerable and defiant. Sleeper depicts a small well-dressed woman holding a much smaller, recumbant figure of a soldier in her arms. The man is deeply asleep while the woman is alert, but somehow detached, from the man she supports – leaving the viewer to bring their own interpretation to the tableau. Another sculpture, with the enigmatic title T.B.T.F, depicts two bearded men wrestling. Seen up close, it becomes possible that the figure at the front may be battling more with himself than he is with his companion, and that there will not be a winner.
Henry always shifts the proportions of his sculptures, so that the characters are either too large or too small, never exactly life-size. The precise recreation of a human does not interest him – something must be changed in order to create tension. His subjects are often universal, representing a group of individuals who become, through the permanence of sculpture, heores of our everyday. They could be the anonymous, unglamorous people we see in the periphery on our way to work.
The British sculptor, born in 1965 in Woking, Surrey, studied ceramic sculpture in the UK & California. His figures are first sculpted in clay, before being cast in bronze and finally painted by hand. Many of the sculptures can be found permanently installed in streets and squares, as well as in private collections. This is Sean Henry’s third solo exhibition with the Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom marking an ongoing collaboration since the turn of the millennium.
A catalogue detailing Sean Henrys sculptures and installations will be launched during the opening of the exhibition.
Seated Man – a larger-than-life size figure resting on a tapered steel bench – will be placed in Djurgården, Stockholm before the opening. The sculpture will be a temporary feature in the public space until Autumn 2014.