Interieur No. 209, 2003, oil on canvas, 204 x 220 cm
Arndt & Partner are pleased to announce that the exhibition Salon by Anton Henning will be extended until 24 August 2003.
Anton Henning's oeuvre is characterised by its inexhaustible range of subject matter and its stylistic diversity, that avoid any categorisation of his work. His latest works employ a variety of motives that originate from traditional genre painting, such as still-lives, landscapes, history-painting, interiors, and nudes. Pushing the boundaries of these genres, Henning adopts current themes of popular culture, ranging from pin-ups and flower pictures to sunsets behind palm tree lined beaches, and appropriates masterpieces from the heritage of Modernism. He balances between the most diverse modes of expression by combining figuration, gestural and geometric abstraction, as well as ornamental elements, resulting in vibrating compositions of colour.
Despite their heterogeneity, Henning's works continuously refer to one another and to the wider context of fine art on many different levels. Two recurring themes, which the title of the exhibition "Salon" refers to, are the examination of the conditions of artistic production and the determination of the own position. When the 'Salons' at the Louvre were established as regular public exhibitions in the middle of the eighteenth century, they offered an opportunity for artists to exercise their autonomy by liberating themselves from the small circle of patrons – and later on, in the Salon de Refuseés, also from the strict aesthetic regulations of the academy. Comparably, Henning's oeuvre investigates the possibilities of defining the role of the artist in the dizzying visual hegemony in our present time.
Especially Henning's complex pictorial "Interieurs", that seem to quote Matisse's paintings of his studio, reveal the artist's pluralistic and critical approach. The walls in these painted "Interieurs" display Henning's own paintings as well as reproductions and appropriations of modernist masterpieces. The paintings within these paintings comment on one another in an ironic dialogue and serve as signifiers in a intriguingly complex system of cultural, art historical and biographical references. Henning's seemingly opposing approaches, such as his more conceptual strategies, his playful and subversive humour, and the celebration of the sensuality of paint, contrast with one other in an exciting and exceptional way.
In his work "Interieur No. 207", presented in the gallery's showroom, Henning dissolves the categories of applied and fine arts by creating an expansive three-dimensional interior, in which he arranges his paintings. The walls are painted in various colours in order to match the paintings as well as the retro-design of the armchairs, the lamps and the carpeting, that transform the gallery space into a typical, pseudo-intimate salon. The artificiality of the atmosphere is subversively exaggerated, creating a sort of supermodern 'Salon'. Anton Henning's unique works intelligently play with diverse clichés such as beauty, luxury, pleasure or taste, that infiltrate not only all domains of design, but also influence the reception of artistic heritage and contemporary fine art.
Anton Henning was born in Berlin in 1964. After having lived in London and New York for a few years, he now lives and works in Manker, near Berlin, since 1994. Having successfully exhibited in Europe and the United States, he currently has an extensive solo show at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland, from May 10th to July 27th. Arndt & Partner are delighted to announce their first exhibition by Anton Henning. Parallel to "Salon", the artist is presenting his exhibition "Sommertagstraum" at Wohnmaschine, Berlin, from June 5th to July 6th 2003.
We are looking forward to welcoming you at the gallery. During August we will remain open as usual: Tuesdays - Saturdays, 11 am - 6pm (and by appointment).