Louise Henderson

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About Louise Henderson

Dame Louise Henderson was born in Paris in 1912 and came to New Zealand in 1925 where she attended the Canterbury School of Art in Christchurch and was awarded a Diploma in 1931. As well as painting with Rita Angus she was an early exhibitor with the Christchurch Group with painters Rata Lovell-Smith & Olivia Spencer-Bower.

During the 1940's she lived in Wellington and studied the formalist concerns of modern figurative art, best represented in New Zealand by John Weeks. She moved to Auckland in the early 1950's and studied with Weeks before going back to Paris in 1952 to improve her knowledge of modern art. She studied with Jean Metzinger making drawings of nude models.

On returning to Auckland she was now recognised as one of the leading modernist painters. Her works of the nude and still life attracted critical attention. She was the only woman artist to be represented alongside Colin McCahon and Milan Mrkusich. After the death of her husband in the 1960's her work became much more gestural and less formally structured. She continued to paint bush and garden subjects in the 1970's and produced work up until her death in 1994.