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Paula Henderson


Paula Henderson, Enter-prize, 2007. Oil and wax on canvas; 60 x 48 in. (152.4 x 121.9). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of the artist and Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, 2009.14. © 2007 Paula Henderson

Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago


Artist Paula Henderson explores how the contemporary social landscape is shaped and how that social landscape shapes contemporary behavior in her work. Henderson’s 12 x 12 exhibition features her series of paintings of abstracted basketball courts.

Created by repeating the dynamic and often colorful lines that divide basketball courts into zones of play until they appear as intricate patterns, the paintings evoke fabrics and weavings, observing the social fabric that binds us all. They also comment on the position sports holds in contemporary American life. Henderson writes, “I perceive that productions as seemingly unrelated as entertainment [here professional sports] or graphic illustrations [maps and other schematics] are experienced with such familiarity that their determinative nature is masked just below their finished surfaces. The complexity of these enterprises is, so to speak, hidden in plain sight. It is the intersections of the histories, practices, and authority of these productions as well as our relationship to them that constitute the conceptual and formal aspects of my query.”


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