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9/20, Opening Reception: Mike Henderson: Honest To Goodness
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Nancy Tubbs

September 16, 2019    

San Francisco Art Institute presents:

Opening Reception: Mike Henderson: Honest To Goodness

Opening reception Friday, September 20, 6 - 8pm, on view September 13 - November 17, 2019, San Francisco


Mike Henderson: Honest to Goodness celebrates the work of pioneering African American artist Mike Henderson (b.1944, Marshall, Missouri; lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area), bringing together a selection of key works from a dynamic practice that spans more than fifty years.

In 1965, Henderson left behind a rural farming community in the Midwest to attend San Francisco Art Institute (BFA 1969, MFA 1970), where he found a vibrant community of artists and friends that would nourish his creativity for decades to come. Galvanized by a new atmosphere of protest and possibility, the young artist set to work producing a breakthrough series of large-scale, figurative paintings-some overtly political, others joyfully depicting his San Francisco scene. Remarkably, as Henderson was completing his education, works from this series were included in two important exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art: Human Concern / Personal Torment: The Grotesque in American Art (1969, traveled to the Berkeley Art Museum, 1970) and Contemporary Black Artists in America (1971). These shows brought Henderson's early works into dialogue with a range of artists concerned with social justice.

Henderson received his MFA degree from San Francisco Art Institute in 1970, a year that marked a dramatic change in the form and content of his work. Like many African American artists searching for new modes of expression following the tumult of the previous decade-Joe Overstreet, Frank Bowling, and Raymond Saunders among them-Henderson left behind his figurative style and turned his artistic vision towards abstraction. In following decades, he developed a set of creative inquiries that continue to fuel his practice to this day. With their lushly built-up surfaces and striking palettes, the more recent paintings included in Honest to Goodness will offer viewers an opportunity to view Henderson's evolution as he explores the tension between gestural and geometric abstraction.

Opening reception Friday, September 20, 6 - 8pm, on view September 13 - November 17, 2019

Walter and McBean Galleries at SFAI-Chestnut Street Campus
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA, 94133


Phone: 415-771-7020

About San Francisco Art Institute:
Founded in 1871, San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art. SFAI offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as public exhibitions, education, and events.
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