The first major exhibition and catalog dedicated to the work of groundbreaking painter and filmmaker Mike Henderson.
Mike Henderson (b. 1944) is a painter, filmmaker, and professor emeritus at University of California, Davis. Published to accompany his first museum retrospective, this catalog surveys Henderson’s paintings and films from 1965 to 1985, which are rooted as much in Francisco Goya’s horror of humanity as in Sun Ra’s hope for a new Black future. In the work of that time, Henderson depicted scenes of racial violence, heteromasculinity, and abject social conditions with force and unflinching directness.
In 1985, a studio fire damaged much of Henderson’s output from the previous two decades, obscuring vital ideas about a time of tumult and change, often referred to as a world on fire. Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985 addresses Henderson’s multifaceted art of that period, which examined and offered new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afrofuturism, and surrealism.
Published in association with the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis
Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
January 29–June 25, 2023