Dale Henry ( 1931 – 2011 ) bequeathed his entire body of work to Clocktower Founder/Director Alanna Heiss, with the proviso that it remain outside of the art market. Following a multi-part retrospective, Dale Henry: The Artist Who Left New York, Heiss has worked to disseminate the 200+ works to individuals including artists, critics, curators, and Henry’s artist peers, in all cases, completely free of charge.

The most significant groups of works are being donated to prominent museums and collections in the United States and abroad, with recent acquisitions by institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, and the Sammlung-Hoffmann Collection in Berlin, among others.

The series below are entirely or partially available to museums, art centers, and educational institutions. For more information about acquiring one or more works from these series, contact: 

Beatrice Johnson, Project Director


wet grounds, 1972

  • Series of 9, dimensions variable, Acrylic and emulsion on canvas

  • 3 works donated to the Sammlung Hoffmann Collection, Berlin

  • 2 works donated to the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, Dubai

  • 1 work donated to Jones Day

  • 2 works available

Henry used a combination of unpainted linen, emulsion, gesso, acrylic, and resin to create subtle textures and reflections that change depending on the light in the room and position of the viewer. The artist compared the three qualities of light –its absorbance, reflectance and transmittance– to the grammatical tenses of past, present, and future. By playing with the multiple qualities of light in this series, Henry collapses linear time onto a single visual plane. The use of transparent materials creates a ‘wetness’ on the canvas ground, but also places the canvas and media on equal visual footing. Several of the resin pieces can withstand long periods of outdoor exposure. In his notes, Henry encouraged this series to be displayed on the floor and ceiling as well as the walls, and if possible, outside.


Body of Work, 1976

  • Series of 10, each 48 x 40”, Acrylic and emulsion on canvas

  • 5 works donated to Alanna Heiss collection

  • 1 work donated to Davis Museum at Wellesley College

  • 4 works available

This series of flesh-colored paintings is a literal interpretation of the term ‘body of work.’ In the middle of the canvases, Henry has re-drawn, in resin, selections from his own earlier work in the Singular Paintings series. He included snapshots of the original work to be displayed on the wall in the same configuration as the paintings. This series brings the conceptual and material qualities of the work into equal consideration. The titles of each work correspond to the year in which the original work in the resin image was made.

1949, acrylic and emulsion on canvas, 48 x 40”

1959, acrylic and emulsion on canvas, 48 x 40”

1964, acrylic and emulsion on canvas, 48 x 40”

1966, acrylic and emulsion on canvas, 48 x 40”


Leonardo Perspective Drawings, 1976

  • Acrylic and resin emulsion on frames, dimensions variable

  • Series of 17, first exhibited at the John Weber Gallery, May 1976

  • 7 works available

Writings by Dale Henry regarding Leonardo Perspective, and the overarching series The Four Groups:

“These four series have the following in common; They are self-contained; The drawing is done on and behind the frame’s protective surface ...The drawing and the frame are integral and inextricable. The frames’ traditional function of protection to the drawing is served, and that serves equally well with supplying and being the only surface, not a surface on top of a surface.”

“Two other conditions of light, absorbance and transmittance, occur respectively as shadow and deflection variable to the viewer - parallax and/or the circumstantial range of natural or artificial light.”

Prosody Drawing

Glass Damage (Set I)

Quote, Deep Structure (Set IV)
(presented on wall)

Continuous Lineage Drawing (da Vinci’s Weary Hand)

Handling

  Window (Set IV)  (presented on ground)

Window (Set IV)
(presented on ground)

Frame (Set I)

A note about reproduction: 

“There is a quantity of my work most representative that is missing here because my often-chosen materials are transparent or reflective or both, and elusive to the photographic process. My use makes surface incidence registration entirely dependent on viewer parallax to circumstantial light. A fixed camera light and position will take at once extreme blankness, at another, almost transmitted light. These situations fully negate why I do what I do.”

– Dale Henry, 1990