A Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) travelling exhibition
The light fades but the gods remain showcases two key series by Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most eminent artists. These explore the suburb of Glen Waverley, where the artist grew up.
In celebration of MGA’s 25th anniversary, Henson was commissioned to revisit the suburb of his childhood and to produce a new body of work reflecting upon his earlier series Untitled 1985–86, known by many as ‘the suburban series’.
This ground-breaking commission offers an unparalleled insight into one of Australia’s most revered artists as he explores the notion of home, intensifying the everyday to a point of dramatic revelation and romantic beauty.
Curator: Pippa Milne
About Bill Henson
Bill Henson was born in Glen Waverley, in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs in 1955 and continues to live and work in Melbourne. Henson studied photography at Prahran Technical College in 1974 and at 19 years of age held his fi rst solo show at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975. He has since exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas, including New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Montreal, Barcelona, Vienna and Amsterdam. In 1995 Henson represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, with his celebrated series of cut-screen photographs.
In 2003 Henson’s work appeared in Strangers: the first ICP triennial of photography and video at the International Center of Photography in New York. In the same year he had a solo exhibition at the Centro de Fotografi a, University of Salamanca, Spain. In 2005 a comprehensive survey of his work was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. This landmark survey show, titled Mnemosyne attracted record visitor numbers for a contemporary art exhibition in Australia and was accompanied by the substantial and important publication by the same name. In 2006 Henson exhibited a major body of work in Twilight: photography in the magic hour at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of NSW.
Henson has had a long association with MGA including a solo exhibition of his early work in 2008, The MGA Collection: Bill Henson, and in 2014 the exhibition Wildcards: Bill Henson shuffles the deck, which was Henson’s first curatorial project and captured his selection of works drawn from the MGA Collection. Most recently, the major commissioning exhibition The light fades but the gods remain was first shown at MGA in 2019.
BILL HENSON: The light fades but the gods remain will be complemented by a selection of thirteen works of art from 1974 – 2006 by Bill Henson from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection.
Untitled 3 2018–19
from the series Untitled 2018–19
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
courtesy of the artist, Tolarno Galleries (Melbourne)
and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney)
type C photograph
103.2 x 152.0cm
Newcastle Art Gallery collection
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney