Matt Henry (born 1973) lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand. He received his MFA from Melbourne’s RMIT university in 2008 and his work is held in public and private collections including the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki; Wallace Arts Trust; New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade; Elevation Capital Art Collection and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
Playing upon the contextual openness of reductive abstraction, Henry’s minimalist-like paintings characteristically appropriate forms and logic from modernist architecture and design. Often obsessive in their execution and observation of detail, Henry employs painting as a mimetic tool exploiting formal intersections between painting and design.
Examining idioms common to fine art and design, Henry’s approach to painting can be seen as a meta-language with which he contemplates processes of commodification and semiotic re-coding. Drawing on an often banal and personal inventory of utilitarian objects and forms the paintings commonly address notions of the local and vernacular. As a regenerative process these ironically mimetic abstractions can appear as much acts of critique and re-appropriation as they do homage.
Selected solo shows and representation in group/thematic exhibitions include: Silian Rail, RM Projects (2015); Structural Relief, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts (2014-15); High Fidelity, Starkwhite (2013); Elsewhere, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2012-13); From the series 16:9, Sydney Non Objective (2012); Metaphoria, St Paul Street Gallery (2012); Melbourne Art Fair (2012); Vernacular Painting, Starkwhite (2011); User Friendly, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts (2011); ART HK11, Hong Kong (2011); Contraflow, Starkwhite (2010); ART HK10, Hong Kong (2010); Fahrenheit, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2009); Doppelgänger, Starkwhite (2009); Living Together, Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, Wellington (2007); Activating Korea, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2007); Mostly Harmless: a performance series, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2006); Bloom, High Street Project, Christchurch (2004); and View, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2004).