John Henry (1943 – 2022, Lexington, Kentucky) is acclaimed for his vibrant, monumental sculptures. Although recognized for his floating beams energized with monochromatic, primary colors, Henry’s practice began with expressionist painting. Many of the themes of Henry’s painting practice, such as bold lines of color and a sense of “heroic individualism” that he observed from Abstract Expressionist artists, manifested in his subsequent sculptural style. But the experiences that were likely most influential on Henry’s distinctive sculptural style were his studies and projects in Chicago.
Complexus was created by Henry in 2007 as a dynamic expression of monumentality activated by human engagement. Standing 70-feet-tall, Complexus was completed in Henry’s signature style: a grand statement of mass and color constructed with refined, geometric forms. While the sculpture is composed of basic shapes, Henry orients them in a complicated puzzle of floating and leaning pieces, creating a visual paradox – the sculpture appears both grounded as a large steel structure, yet also airy, as pieces float amongst the background of the sky.
On loan from the City of Sarasota
‘Complexus’ Installation Timelapse
Duration: 4 minutes
Produced by Makshu Productions
John Henry’s iconic 70-foot steel sculpture, Complexus, relocated from the Sarasota bayfront to Sarasota Art Museum in early January 2021. Ringling College of Art and Design alumni, Christina and Karim Maksoud, documented the installation of the sculpture on the Great Lawn from January 12-14, 2021.