Louise Henderson

France / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1902, d.1994


  • 1987
  • Oil on canvas
  • Dame Louise Henderson Collection presented by the McKegg Family, 1999
  • 2535 x 1535mm
  • 99/72

Paris-born Louise Henderson moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1925 and was in her mid-eighties when she took up one of the boldest painting projects of her long career: a series of twelve large cubist-inspired canvases tracking the months of the year. In employing the soft colours of late spring, November conveys a certain sense of lightness and serenity. Painted at a scale that feels architectural and with a vigorous structural arrangement, it can be seen as an expression of the artist’s pleasure in the visual language of modernism.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Read more about Louise Henderson's Months series

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • At a time in her career when many might have expected her to slow down or even retire, French-born Louise Henderson embarked upon one of her most ambitious creative projects. The Twelve Months distilled her impressions of her life in Aotearoa New Zealand into a dozen tall canvases, filtering the rhythms of the year through her ‘abstract poetic of nature’. Borrowing their proportions from the elegant ‘double square’ of her studio windows, they combined two important aspects of her practice: the all-seeing viewpoints and organisational principles of cubism and the ability to use colour to evoke both form and atmosphere. Often inspired by the view through her window, Henderson manipulated a complex set of variables, considering how the seasons affected the weather and landscape, the changing light and position of the sun, and the fluctuating activities, rituals and moods of people in both the city and the countryside.