Known for her geometric abstract paintings, American artist Mary Henry (1913-2009) was one of the movement’s steadfast champions. Henry studied under Bauhaus instructor Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in Chicago at the Institute of Design in the 1940s. She worked many years as an interior designer and muralist—while raising a family—before moving to Seattle in the 1970s and producing her largest body of work. Although Henry’s work received critical praise and has been collected in a number of museums, she has largely remained a regional cult figure the art world is still learning about. Remarking on the goal of her art, Henry said “I’ve always wanted to create that feeling in my work, of getting down to the nitty-gritty and getting rid of all the things that aren’t important, to get to the essence of life. What do I hope people get from my work? Honesty. Simplicity. I wanted it to be uncomplicated and direct.”
Baba’s Birthday (Diptych) acrylic on canvas (2 panels), 48” H x 72” W x 2.5” (overall), 1993 (pictured) is true to her style, the diptych is comprised of two panels of geometric shapes of black, blue, white, red and her signature yellow. RACC has also acquired a study drawing for this painting. Baba’s Birthday is a gift Suzanne and John Rahn, Henry’s daughter and her husband. Gifts such as this are reviewed by RACC’s Public Art Advisory Committee for their appropriateness to the public collection.
Currently: Mary Henry: The Fabric of Space at Jeffery Thomas Fine Art from March 9-April 30, 2016.