February 23, 2023

Alicia Henry: In the Viewing Room at TrépanierBaer Gallery

Alicia Henry’s works – whether drawing, textile-based works or cutouts are charged with poetic sensibilities…With powerful and lyric insight, Henry’s two-dimensional figures embody emotions and histories that are often hidden; once revealed and presented, singularly or joined together, they speak to visibility and identity, memory loss and deep longing… ( Gaëtane Verna, Foreward from Alicia Henry: Witnessing, exhibition catalogue, p. 7, 2019)

TrépanierBaer is pleased to present a suite of  eleven  small-scale drawings by Alicia Henry.  At first glance, these two-dimensional figures delineate bodies, however, the figures are re-constructed from assembled cut-outs that the artist has created. As a child, Alicia Henry cut out paper dolls, that she recut into sections, and reconstructed them to create new figures. This process is a mainstay of her practice today, creating new representations suggesting loss and by extension memory. Alicia Henry also places cut out figures and forms one atop the other; her choice to layer these body figures and body forms underscore notions of family history, and associated narratives belonging to those histories.

Also on view, is a large-scale textile, female figure, who joins the cut out figures to stand witness to their history, as well as her own.

Alicia Henry (born 1966, Illinois) lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. Her first solo exhibition in Canada, titled Witnessing, premiered at The Power Plant in Toronto in 2019, and toured to the following venues in Canada: the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2019); the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (2022), and the Kamloops Art Gallery (2022).  Her exhibition Alicia Henry: 2012 -2020, opened at TrépanierBaer Gallery in Calgary in the Fall of 2020. In 2022, Alicia Henry was included in both the FOCUS feature at Art Toronto, and in the group exhibition tilted Awakening: seeing beyond the frame at the Musée d’art de Joliette.

Her work has also been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions around the world: the Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville (2021); Fruitland Museum, Harvard, MA (2021); Tiwani Gallery, London (2021); the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (2016); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2012); the Nashville International Airport (2002); the Cheekwood Museum, Nashville (2000); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City (1997); and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1996).

She has received numerous awards such as the Joan Mitchel Foundation award, the Ford Foundation Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and, most recently, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. A native of Illinois, Henry received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA at Yale University at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Henry is currently a professor of art at Fisk University in Nashville, one of the oldest black universities in the United States.


TrépanierBaer Notices

TrépanierBaer congratulates Tim Whiten, the winner of the 2022 Gershon Iskowitz Prize. The $75,000 award is a career prize that recognizes an outstanding contribution to the visual arts in Canada. The Prize includes the opportunity of a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Whiten, 81, is a Toronto artist with a 50-year career. He is a maker of images and objects both playful and mysterious. His drawings, sculptures, installations and performances draw on his knowledge of spiritual practices from around the world, including Zen Buddhism and Jewish mysticism. [ Op. Cit., Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail, February 22, 2023]

EXPOSURE Photography Festival 2023

On view now at the gallery: Barbara Steinman: Keeping Time, Geoffrey James: Trees, and Evan Penny: The Venetian Mirror. While distinct in their respective representations, these photographic bodies of work share concerns regarding the poetics of space, time, and memory, and how they are translated and expressed via the genre of photography.

Come visit us at gallery!

Image Credit:

Alicia Henry
Untitled 12, 2008
Ink, watercolour, thread on paper /17.5″ long