Henry Miller Fine Art is the UK’s only gallery to concentrate exclusively on the male form in all kinds of art from paintings to sculpture and photographers. Dave Cross spoke to Henry to find out about their upcoming spring 2019 exhibition.
Hello Henry, how would you describe your company Henry Miller Fine Art?
Henry Miller Fine Art focuses exclusively on the male form and the collection includes works spanning 300 years, from 17th Century paintings to 20th Century photography, from classical portraits to erotic nudes and everything in between. There is no other gallery in the UK doing what I do so it’s a true labour of love.
How did you get into collecting art?
I have been collecting since I was a teenager; the first piece I bought in 1987 was the iconic poster for the film Querelle by Andy Warhol. At the time it was pretty risqué for someone my age to have the picture of a man licking another man’s ear from behind, hanging on your wall and I had three in different colours! I still have one of them and still love it.
What areas of art do you cover and collect?
The oldest piece in my collection dates from around 1600. I also have some more contemporary pieces created in the last few years. And there are a lot of works in the intervening years, with a large proportion of them from the 20th Century.
What can you tell us about the Spring 2019 exhibition?
Amongst many other works, the show includes some rarely seen 1970’s paintings by the late gay Irish artist Patrick Hennessy as well as a series of nudes by contemporary Scottish painter Ian Cook. I am also very happy to exhibit one of my favourite Michael Leonard paintings, ‘Torso’, from 2008. Another highlight for me is a rare series of male nudes from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s by American photographer Edwin F. Townsend that feature some of the most famous ‘physique models’ of the time, Tony Sansone and Leon Noll, in typical classical poses that ooze sex and art deco in equal measure.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
The second half of 2019 looks pretty busy already. In June I am holding an open house weekend at my home gallery as part of the Walthamstow Art Trail. I will be back at the Coningsby Gallery with a new exhibition in September and, in November, I will be taking part in the Art and Antiques Fair at Olympia for the first time. No rest for the wicked, as they say.