Born in 1913, Mary Henry attended the California College of Arts and Crafts at a time few women were sincerely accepted by the public and the art world as artists. Then, in the late '30s, Henry experienced a life-altering moment whose full effect wouldn't command her life for another 25 years or so: a lecture by the constructivist pioneer and Bauhaus champion Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Henry was gripped by Bauhaus' formal ideas and Moholy-Nagy's fascination with pure expressiveness through line and color. Those ideas brewed and steeped in Henry's imagination as she lived a life of domesticity: married with children. Henry even left her family for a time to study with Moholy-Nagy in Chicago in the '40s, but it wasn't until 1964, the year she got divorced and became a working artist, that Henry would truly pursue her ambitions. Thus initiated, her journey began to perfect a spare yet expressive visual language out of geometric shapes and bold graphic colors. Henry emerges as a second-generation geometric abstractionist and one of its most supple champions; she located spiritual essences in her work and elicited the highest passion. Through the years, Henry has garnered praise -- and a review in Artforum magazine -- and while she had exhibits in San Francisco and was collected in major Northwest museums, Henry has remained a kind of cult regional figure that the art world is just learning about.
Howard House's second Henry show offers a window into an artist's emergence by Gayle Clemans for The Seattle Times
Currently Hanging: A Life - Jen Graves The Stranger SLOG
Mary Henry - artists hidden in plain sight, Regina Hackett's Blog, Another Bouncing Ball, Dec. 20, 2009
Click here to read Jen Graves' article about Mary Henry in the Stranger
Click here to read Sheila Farr's reivew in The Seattle Times
Click here to read Regina Hackett's review of Henry's show at in the Seattle PI