"Taking Off is a real picture story of a failed marriage, of sexual frustration and voyeurism. The exhibition introduces us to Henry’s photographic obsessions. His wife, Martha, has lived under his yoke for years, heedlessly posing for his extravagant nude studies. Mariken Wessels acquired the complete private collection through acquaintances in the United States.
Wessels set about reconstructing Henry’s marriage, work and life. “Taking Off” depicts the various stages in his obsession. She takes as her point of departure some 5,500 black-and- white nudes, dozens of collages and several clay figurines. “Taking Off” takes us on a journey into the secretive, private world of Henry and his muse. Wessels becomes their confidant. She presents their story as an artistic plea for the recognition of Martha’s courage in exposing her husband’s creative madness.
Henry left behind a legacy of amateur art totalling approximately 5,500 nude photos of his wife and muse Martha, 50 collages and 17 clay figurines."