John Henry is known worldwide for his large-scale public works of art, which grace numerous museum, corporate, public and private collections. His works are prominently exhibited in many American cities and states as well as throughout Europe and Asia.
John has shown his work extensively since the early 1960’s and exhibits a definitive trademark style that is recognized internationally. His works range in scale from small tabletop pieces to some of the largest contemporary metal sculptures in the world. While identified by some in the 1970s as part of the Minimalist Movement, the geometric forms that have defined John’s work for more than forty years have their aesthetic and historical base in Constructivism. John has a supreme commitment to the materiality of his work, and an unwavering insistence on maintaining the integrity of the process and the materials in developing his visual vocabulary.
John attended the University of Kentucky, University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received a Ford Foundation grant, the Edward L Ryerson Fellowship and earned a BFA. He received an Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Kentucky in 1996. As a visiting professor of sculpture, John has taught at the University of lowa, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is formerly Distinguished Professor of Art at Chattanooga State College. In 2002 he received the Governor’s National Award in the Arts from the State of Kentucky and in 2004, the Mayor’s Award of Distinction in the Arts from the City of Chattanooga. Other recent honors include recognition on the floor of the Tennessee State Senate in 2004, and in 2005 the honorary renaming of North Cermak Road to “John Henry Way” by the City of Chicago in recognition of his contributions to Public Art on the local and national levels.
As an active participant in promoting the arts John has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts in Chicago, a coordinator and advisor to the City and the Art Institute of Chicago for the Sculpture in the Parks Exhibition and as an advisor to the Art Council of Greater New Orleans for the Super Sculpture New Orleans exhibition. Since 1991 he has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. John has also served on the Board of the International Sculpture Center since 1996 in various leadership roles including Chairman. John resigned from the ISC board in 2008 and has since been named Chairman Emeritus.
John was a founding member of ConStruct, the artist-owned gallery that promoted and organized large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the United States. Other founding members include Mark diSuvero, Kenneth Snelson, Lyman Kipp and Charles Ginnever. John continues to curate exhibitions in the United States and in Europe; drawing on his nationally recognized expertise regarding sculptors and their work. He is now the Curator of the Outdoor Museum of Art at Chattanooga State College, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Recent exhibitions include: OPEN 2007, Venice, Italy; Sarasota Season of Sculpture 4, Sarasota, FL, 2007; American Sculptors in the Shadow of the Alps, Art St. Urban, Switzerland, 2007; Sculpture a Wyoming Invitational at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, 2008; his one man exhibition throughout the state of Florida, Drawing in Space: The Peninsula Project, 2008/09 and Sculpture for New Orleans, 2009. Upcoming exhibitions include: Art in the Garden at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, July 2009. Recent major acquisitions include: Tatlin, Hall Financial Group, Frisco, TX; Treemonisha, The Gateway Foundation, St. Louis, MO; Je Souhaite, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, Songbird of Seattle, WA and Rocky Mountain High of Evergreen, CO.