Nigel Henderson

Peter Samuels

1951

Not on display
Artist
Nigel Henderson 1917–1985
Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, mounted on board
Dimensions
Frame: 447 x 390 mm
unconfirmed: 203 x 254 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 2007
Reference
P79304

Summary

Peter Samuels 1951 belongs to an extensive series of photographs that Nigel Henderson took between 1949 and 1952, when he was living in Bethnal Green, London. Peter Samuels was his neighbours’ son and Henderson took several photographs of him on his own, and of his family as a group. The extensive collection of photographs recording aspects of the working-class communities of London’s East End, to which this portrait belongs, represents Henderson’s first experiments with photography. The inclusion of graffiti and other graphic elements, such as advertising posters, hoardings and signage, is a recurring feature of Henderson’s work. Here, the boy leans against a wall covered with advertisements, some ripped and some obscured by political flyers.

Nigel Henderson was one of the founding members of the Independent Group. He was a documentary and experimental photographer and artist. He studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art and taught at the Central School of Art with Anthony Froshaug, Edward Wright and Eduardo Paolozzi. He took part in the exhibition This is Tomorrow at London’s Whitechapel Gallery in 1956.

Further reading
Nigel Henderson: Photographs of Bethnal Green 1949–1952, exhibition catalogue, Midland Group, Nottingham 1978.

Helen Delaney
December 2017

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