Gradients and Geometry in a Brooklyn Artist’s Paintings

Brooklyn-based artist Adam Henry is a painter, but you could be forgiven for assuming these works were made not by hand but by mouse. In a monograph recently published by Henry’s Brussels-based gallery, Meessen de Clercq, Henry’s friend, the sculptor Justin Beal, refers to the artist as having a “pre-Adobe brain, performing these Photoshop functions automatically” — blur, sharpen, flip horizontal, free transform. Henry’s works, typically made from sprayed synthetic polymers on linen, are often simultaneously indefinite and precise; color occupies rigidly spaced planes on the canvas but then blooms, fading into white or dispersing into a gradient.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in my studio thinking about how to reconstruct my ideas about painting’s physicality,” Henry says in the book. “Most of that time was spent just staring at the materials. The stretcher bars did not seem that interesting, but the linen was. I held it up to a window and noticed the light coming through. I considered that a painting could exist in between the threads of the weave and not on the surface.” We recently discovered Henry’s work at a solo booth at the Armory show, and we’re excerpting a few of our favorites here today!