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Nigel Henderson: Parallel of Life and Art

Paperback: 168 pages
159 Illustrations, 20 in colour
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (October 2001)

Nigel Henderson (1917–1985) has languished in relative obscurity since the mid-1950s. This is the first monograph on a pivotal artist, whose influence on British art in the 1950s and 1960s was immense.

This superbly illustrated volume provides an in-depth account of the artist’s extraordinary life and work, which included close friendships with a number of the Bloomsbury circle (he married Virginia Woolf’s niece) as well as such literary figures as Dylan Thomas, T. S. Eliot, Bertolt Brecht and W. H. Auden.

Adopted by Peggy Guggenheim in the mid-1930s, Henderson also benefited from friendships with a number of key French Surrealists, such as Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Hans Arp and, later, Fernand Leger, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Dubuffet. Following the war, these friendships and their impact on his work would mark Henderson out from the younger artists with whom he was mixing, among them Eduardo Paolozzi, Francis Bacon, William Turnbull, Richard Hamilton, and architects Colin St. John Wilson and Alison and Peter Smithson, all of whom felt stifled by the post-war British art establishment.

Nigel Henderson: Parallel of Life and Art presents a comprehensive selection of Henderson’s work, including his documentary photographs of the East End (which had a significant impact on contemporary urban planning and architecture), and his experimental work with the photographic medium, collage and design. Many of the images are published here for the first time.


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