Louise Henderson

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Dame Louise Etiennette Sidonie Henderson, DBE (21 April 1902 - 27 June 1994) was a New Zealand artist and painter.

Born in Paris, she was raised there and it was there she met her future husband Hubert Henderson, a New Zealander. Hubert returned to New Zealand in 1923 and proposed to Louise, but propriety demanded that a single woman not travel alone to New Zealand. She was married to Hubert by proxy at the British Embassy in Paris before emigrating to New Zealand in 1925 and settling with her husband in Christchurch where she began studies at the Canterbury School of Art. After earning her diploma in 1931 she went on to teach at the school.

In the early 1940s Henderson moved to Wellington and became interested in modernist concerns after seeing a number of cubist inspired paintings by John Weeks, who she was corresponding with. In 1950 the family moved to Auckland and she attended the Elam School of Art but was frustrated by its conservatism. She continued to work in John Weeks' studio, however and her work of this period becomes increasingly abstract and intellectual.

In 1952, at Weeks's urging, and with her husband's support, Louise Henderson returned to Paris for a year to improve her knowledge of modern painting. She studied there with Jean Metzinger. On her return to Auckland she was recognised as one of the leading Modernist painters. An exhibition of Henderson's vividly painted adaptations...
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