Henry Gunderson
Formula One

08.06.2018 — 31.07.2018

Private View Thursday 7th June 18:00 - 20:00

Installation View
Did You Think You Could Program the Flowers to Serve You? Did You Think You Were Large in Relation to the Ant?, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 157.50 × 157.50 cm
Installation View
Moments in Custody, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 137.2 × 107 cm
Stars at Capacity, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 152.3 × 122 cm
Installation View
Installation view
Serve the Lord With Gladness, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 190.50 × 152.40 cm
The Mechanic, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 88.90 × 127 cm
Installation View
Same Time Tomorrow, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 61 × 122 cm
Installation View
In The Friendly Soil My Mind is Clear, My Dialogue is With The Earth, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 137.16 × 167.64 cm
Installation View
Drag Rod, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 203.20 × 244 cm

Exhibition Text

In Henry Gunderson’s pictures, there are subjects that deviate, clash and contradict, yet co-exist with one another. A slithering snail takes on the form of a framing device overlooking an expressway. A checkerboard platform shoe covered in chess pieces morphs together with a dragster to create a hybrid consumer object with the buttons of a video game controller embedded into it. A reptilian sunglass model gazes ominously in our direction. A school of camcorders are entangled in plastic six-pack rings. Various colored lamps light up a rave. The inner workings of a computer system reveal a cybernetic union of mushrooms, wires, and ants complete with hippie photo memorabilia. Gunderson’s subjects are deliberately dissonant and anti-formulaic. The image of a knotted bolt on the cover of a diagnostic statistical manual of mental disorders that is covered in oil fingerprints and titled ‘The Mechanic’ sets a tone. Does this image depict a literal entanglement of the mental process suggesting that disorder needs to be straightened out? Or, does Gunderson counteract this thought and instead ask does the ideal mind exist? Does our obsession with order and normalcy prevent us from effectively navigating the rich chaos of our experience?


The eight pictures operate idiosyncratically within their own rules and regulations, each playing its own distinct role in an arena of absurdity. Together they create a volatile dynamic like that of a dysfunctional family at a dinner table. Each one expressing distinct themes such as, time, speed, technology, excess, surveillance, psychology, branding, and conspiracy, in a democratic fashion. All these individual disparate, but coherent viewpoints have a validity and a poetry of their own. An evolutionary process fluctuating in a 24-hour cycle of progression and regression is pictured on a business card composition, ‘Same Time Tomorrow’. From ape to man and back to ape again, Gunderson provides us with no answers, only presents us with a survey of questions needed in order to analyze the chaos and absurdity of the world around us.



Did you think you could program the flowers to serve you? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you were large in relation to the ant? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that having a pet ride in the passenger seat would grant you access to the carpool lane? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think your joyride on the expressway to oblivion would be a pleasurable experience? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the laws of aerodynamics did not apply to you? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that those shoes would be appropriate attire for the funeral? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that by inhabiting a body you were making some kind of a fashion statement? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think that I would stoop so low as to be fashionable? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the planet you’ve been standing on was the earth? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could hack into the mainframe and go undetected? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think the current operating system was obsolete? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could stare directly into the sun for guidance? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think you could carry a rhythm with your retina? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think new lenses would correct the damage done? ▢Yes ▢No


Did you think this was a race that could be won or lost? ▢Yes ▢No



Text by Water McBeer & Niru Ratman