Paula Henderson


Artist Statement

How our contemporary social landscape is shaped is the subject of several series of paintings and drawings loosely organized under a rubric I refer to as Social Fabrics.

Our shared use of prevalent systems of representation, an important and always evolving part of the social dynamic, works as well to fix and limit our perceptions of one another. My re-arrangements of these forms of representation question their function and authority as a means to elicit or suggest their inherent agency. I perceive that productions as seemingly unrelated as entertainment, such as sports and fashion, or graphic illustrations, such as maps and signage, are experienced with such familiarity that their determinative nature is masked just below their finished surfaces. The complexity of these enterprises is, so to speak, hidden in plain sight. It is the intersections of the histories, practices, and authority of these productions, and our relationship to them that constitute the conceptual and formal aspects of my query, in the form of pattern paintings, schematic abstractions, and maps.

Much of my work in painting addresses patterns of iconic representations of gender and race in sports and fashion. In my compositions I utilize bilateral symmetry to create a decorative camouflage in which tracings of the contours of male and female media figures are multiplied and transformed into mirrored abstractions of themselves. The resultant compositions evoke domestic fabrics and are metaphors for the promotion of media gods and goddesses – images invested with the power to shape contemporary behavior.

Paula Henderson’s Website

Paula Henderson at the Linda Warren Gallery