Sean Henry (artist)

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Couple (2007) Sean Henry bronze sculpture at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea 12.25 x 21 x 6 m
Walking Man (1998) in Holland Park, London

Sean Henry (born 1965, Woking, Surrey [1]) is a British sculptor. His work occupies private and public locations in many parts of the world. Fusing the disciplines of ceramics with those of sculpture to create a fresh, innovative approach to representing the human figure, Henry's painted figures have helped to revive the long tradition of polychrome sculpture.

Early life[edit]

The youngest of four brothers, Henry grew up in Surrey, England. He studied at Farnham Art School in 1983 before taking a BA in ceramics at Bristol Polytechnic from 1984 to 1987. He was a visiting artist at the University of California from 1991 to 1992, and won the Villiers David Prize in 1998, becoming the first sculptor to win the award.[2][3]


Henry describes the theme of his work as “the tension between the making and staging of figures that seem to belong to the real world, and the degree to which they echo our experiences and sympathies”. Art historian Tom Flynn has said "Through vigorously expressive modelling Henry imbues his figures with a powerful psychological presence, the theme of life and death a constant subtext".[4]

Henry’s sculptures are modelled in clay before being painted by the artist using oil and other paints, on either a cast bronze or ceramic surface. Mark Lawson has described Henry's offshore sculpture Couple as "confirming the current power of public art".[5]

His first solo show was in London in 1988 and he has since gone on to exhibit his work widely in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the UK, USA, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Italy, Australia, Greece and Switzerland.

In 2008, Scala Publishers published the first comprehensive monograph on Henry’s work, written by the art historian Tom Flynn.[6] This was followed in 2011 by the Scala publication of Conflux: A Union of the Sacred and the Anonymous to mark Henry’s biggest exhibition to date at Salisbury Cathedral which attracted over 100,000 visitors during its 4 month run in 2011, a record for the Cathedral.[7][8][9]

Notable works[edit]

  • Two Figures (2003) Sheldon Square, Paddington Basin, London, UK
  • Lying Man (2003/2011) Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Michigan, USA.[10]
  • Standing Man (2009) Stockholm City Collection, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Walking Woman (2008) Christian Ringes - Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway
  • Catafalque (2003) Seven Bridges Collection, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
  • Duke of Milan (1999) Scheringa Museum of Realist Art, Spanbroekerweg, Holland
  • T.P.O.L.R. (2002) The Seavest Collection, Florida, USA
  • Catafalque (2003) University of Borås, Borås, Sweden
  • 9 figure installation (2008) Standard Chartered Bank, London, UK
  • Man with Potential Selves (2003) Umedalen skulpturpark, Umea City Collection, Umea, Sweden
  • Couple (2007) Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, UK.[11]
  • Folly (The Other Self) 2007–2011) Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, Sussex, UK
  • Meeting Place (2003) Paddington Central Development, London, UK
  • Hard to Swallow (1991) Arizona State University Museum, Arizona, USA
  • Ben (Ideas Unresolved) (2001) University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • Walking Man (1998) Holland Park, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London, UK
  • Man with Potential Selves (2003) Newcastle City Collection, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Man with Potential Selves (2003) Le Meridien Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London, UK


  1. ^
  2. ^ Tom Flynn, Sean Henry published by SCALA 2008, ISBN 1-85759-573-4.
  3. ^ Osborne Samuel Selected Artist.
  4. ^ Tom Flynn, Sean Henry published by SCALA 2008, ISBN 1-85759-573-4.
  5. ^ Lawson, Mark.The lure of UFO spookiness and sheer improbability, The Guardian, 17 August 2007.
  6. ^ Tom Flynn, Sean Henry published by SCALA 2008, ISBN 1-85759-573-4.
  7. ^ Conflux: A Union of the Sacred and the Anonymous published by SCALA, ISBN 1-85759-747-8.
  8. ^ Morris, Anne. Contemporary_meets_medieval, Salisbury Journal, Salisbury, 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  9. ^ Sean Henry Sculpture Exhibition in Salisbury Cathedral.
  10. ^ Dunne, Aidan. Capturing the rhythm of 30 years Irish Times, 16 June 2010.
  11. ^ Mccourt, Emer. Glimpse of sea gazing giants Live Journal,, 14 April 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-29.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sean Henry at Wikimedia Commons