303 Gallery is proud to present our first solo show of new paintings by Inka Essenhigh. Concurrently, Essenhigh will have an exhibition of work from the past two years at Victoria Miro Gallery, London running from October 29 through December 7, 2002.
In Inka Essenhigh’s recent work, the intimate dramas of everyday life are animated into larger than life exploits. All oil on panel, these paintings depart from earlier works that stressed flat planes and an almost machine- made sheen. Instead, her current shift brings about more complexity, form and velocity. Her storytelling has become increasingly articulate and simultaneously unrestrained. The details in these allegorical paintings are accurate and believable while the figures and their actions are distorted beyond recognition.
In “Kate Dancing” the swinging hips of a young woman are replicated and emphasized applauding the energy in her movements. Essenhigh’s characteristic calligraphic lines describe a wide range of exchanges - some very upbeat and celebratory. “Optimistic Horse and Rider” shows a woman on her white stallion hurdling a rainbow. Conversely, other paintings in the show are quite terrifying or taunting. “Screaming Victim” and “Toilet Paper Painting (Suburban Outcast)” depict victims of the cruel and thoughtless pastimes of bullies.
Inka Essenhigh has a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in December, 2003 co-organized and premiering at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Scotland. Earlier this year Essenhigh’s work was included in “Pertaining to Painting”, curated by Paola Morsiani at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas and “la part de l’autre”, which loosely translates into “Part of the Other”, at the Carré d’Art, Musée d’art contemporaín, Place de la Maison Carrée, Nimes, France. Last year her work was exhibited in “Hybrids” at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, England and in the traveling exhibition “My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation” which went to the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida. Essenhigh’s work was seen in “Greater New York: New Art in New York Now”, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York in 2000. In 1999 she had a solo show at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.