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Chrysler Museum adds John Henry sculpture to its collection
John Henry, Homage to Man Ray, 2009. Machined aluminum, painted metallic blue.
NORFOLK, VA.- The Chrysler Museum of Art has added a work by noted sculptor John Henry to its collection. The piece, Homage to Man Ray, 2009, was installed on the lawn between the Museum and the adjacent Glass Studio.

Henry, a long-time master of public sculpture, has works in many prestigious museum collections including the Smithsonian Institution, the Miami Art Museum, and The British Museum. His public works can be seen in cities across the world, including Chicago; Pittsburgh; St. Louis; Hannover, Germany; and Shenzhen, China. He is developing plans for a new work for the city of Baltimore that will be one of the largest outdoor sculptures in the world, measuring over 200 feet tall.

Henry’s Homage to Man Ray pays tribute to an important artist of the Dada and Surrealist movements. The Chrysler owns 13 works by Man Ray, who developed innovative, avant-garde techniques and approaches to art-making. Amy Brandt, Ph.D., the Chrysler’s McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art comments, “Henry’s work encapsulates the beauty and strength of industrial materials and architectural relationships in a very tangible manner. We are thrilled to have this dynamic addition to the collection and Museum grounds.”

This piece is characteristic of Henry’s work, as it consists of steel constructions that are painted in lively monochromatic colors. The strong gestural quality of the metal beams recalls the work of action painters such as Franz Kline, whom Henry cites as a major influence and whose work is represented in the Museum’s collection. During his visit to install Homage to Man Ray, Henry toured the galleries with Brandt. He commented, “I am overwhelmed by the quality and depth of the Chrysler’s holdings.” For more on the artist, see johnhenrysculptor.com.

The sculpture is a gift of Houston resident Janet Hoggard Blocker in memory of her late husband, John R. Blocker. Having grown up in Norfolk, Blocker’s first museum experiences at the Chrysler provided the foundation for her life-long appreciation of art and art collecting.

The Chrysler has begun construction on a major expansion during 2013 and will close for the year. Once the expansion is complete in 2014, the Henry sculpture will grace the beautiful new outdoor cafe in Mary's Garden.



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