Inka Essenhigh’s painted visions are richly colored distorted fables peopled with archetypes, sprites, and anthropomorphized nature. The paintings breathe and undulate with life as ocean becomes sea monster, tree becomes goddess, or hipster bar-goers become drunken ghouls. The imagery is imbued with a sense of a collective unconscious and mischievous narrative that makes its way into each landscape, building, and figure. As she describes it, her mythologies strive for “the feeling of an inner vision” captured during the witching twilight hours.
Inka Essenhigh (b. 1969 in Bellefonte, PA) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992 from Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH, and her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1994 from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY.
Essenhigh’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN; Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO; Jacob Lewis Gallery, New York, NY; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL; Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH; Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; and Pace Prints, New York, NY.
She has been included in noted group exhibitions in Dublin, Ireland; Milan, Italy; Paris, France; Guadalajara, Mexico; London, England; Winnipeg, Canada; Calgary, Canada; and Turin, Italy.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Tate Modern, London, England; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
As part of its ongoing series of commissions for the Stairwell, The Drawing Center, NY selected Essenhigh to create a site-specific wall drawing. Essenhigh’s installation is the third in the series, and was on view April, 2018 – September, 2019.
Essenhigh lives and works in New York City. She is represented by the Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY and Victoria Miro.
Visit the artist’s website at inkaessenhigh.art.