Judith Henry

Hidden: Two Iterations   April 9-May 22, 2015

Carol Kino, The Masks We Wear 

Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic


Hidden: Two Iterations.

Bravinlee programs is pleased to present two new series of work by Judith Henry; Me as Her and The Artist is Hiding, 2013-2014.
For over 40 years, Judith Henry has created evocative multimedia artworks that explore the friction between our interior lives and public selves. Henry’s projects often repurpose documentary materials like newspapers, telephone books and film clips in poignant explorations of identity and loss. 

In a series of black and white photographs, Me As Her, Henry continues her long-standing practice of remaining hidden/masked within her work. She re-imagines herself behind masks of significant and accomplished women who have died. The photo-masks themselves reveal very little about the personality they depict, underlining the truth that there is little any of us can know about who we see and who sees us. The photographs are shot in available light, on location near her home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The appearance of Henry’s hands is itself a reflection of her own aging process and an important signature of each piece. 

Simultaneous to the development of Me as Her, Henry created another series: The Artist is Hiding. For this series of photographs, she made abstract paintings that refer to and are informed by existing paintings she has seen. Each new piece is painted on top of the prior one, and in each she is photographed hiding behind a new mask. Thus the last painting ceases to exist and the new one becomes a commentary about painting. Sometimes the mask informs the painting; sometimes the reverse is true. Once again, Henry's hands are the only part of her that is visible and thus the only clue to her identity. 

Other works by Judith Henry will be exhibited in the artist’s book vitrine: 
Henry designed Crumpled Paper Stationary as part of Wooster Enterprises (1976–79), a collaborative, conceptual business she began with artist Jaime Davidovich. Using their own original designs and additional prototypes by George Maciunas, Davidovich and Henry sold small paper products—greeting cards, writing pads, confetti, and other paper goods—to large and small stores throughout the United States. Their intent was to bring conceptual art into a truly commercial arena. After Wooster Enterprises ended, The Museum of Modern Art continued to produce Henry’s crumpled paper stationary, and for years it was one of their best selling items. 

For over three decades, Henry traversed the streets of New York City secretly photographing and eavesdropping on the people she encountered, resulting in her Overheard Book Series published by Universe/Rizzoli (2000-2002). The series consists of four books: Overheard at the Museum, Overheard at the Bookstore, Overheard While Shopping and Overheard in Love. In 2006 Atria published Overheard in America; New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.