Paula Henderson

Gallery Affiliations: Linda Warren Projects

Region: Midwest

How our contemporary social landscape is shaped is the subject of several series of paintings and drawings that I group under the title Social Fabrics. Our shared use of prevalent systems of representation, an important and always evolving part of the social dynamic, works as well to fix and limit our perceptions of ourselves. My re-arrangements of these forms question their function and authority as a means to elicit or suggest their inherent agency.

Much of my work in painting addresses patterns of iconic representations of gender and race in sports and fashion. In my compositions I utilize bilateral symmetry to create a decorative camouflage in which tracings of the contours of male and female media figures are multiplied and transformed into mirrored abstractions of themselves. The resultant compositions evoke domestic fabrics and are metaphors for the promotion of media god and goddesses–images invested with the power to shape our contemporary behavior.

I perceive that productions as disparate as fashion and professional sports, with such familiarity that their determinative nature is masked just below their finished surfaces.