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"Anton Henning: Supassing Surplus"
2002-09-14 until 2003-01-12
De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art
Until now, scarcely any work by Anton Henning (Berlin 1964) has been shown in the Netherlands. Yet international concern for his paintings and installations has grown recently. Henning is regarded as one of the younger artists in Germany who approach painting with new verve. This does not mean that he rebels against his older colleagues, but that he does take the liberty of adopting his own singular stance.
That stance is characterized by great vitality and a virtually elastic use of all sorts of images, motifs and visual quotations.
Surpassing Surplus resembles an overview of the wealth of possibilities still offered by painting. Abstraction and figuration are used interchangeably and sometimes literally converge. Still lifes of flowers become flamboyant arabesques, interiors are painted in exuberant hues, landscapes and nudes are quaintly realistic; at the same time, all of these display Henning's unmistakable handwriting and use of vivid patterns. Particularly in the abstract paintings (Interiors) Henning attains fascinating resullts with his compositions of meandering bands of color and whirling patterns that resemble trompe l'oeil painting. With their eddying patterns, such paintings bring to mind the Śpsychedelic‚ interiors of the seventies and convey an entirely personal realm of color and movement.
This sense of hallucination is equally strong with the lounge‚ works, in which the artist portrays a room fully furnished and carpeted, wallpapered and decorated with paintings. Not only does the lounge‚ serve as a complete spatial context for Henning‚s paintings; it also functions the modern interior‚ in countless depictions of his. That gives rise to a peculiar sort of chemistry. At De Pont as well, Anton Henning is constructing a lounge‚ as a present-day Gesamtkunstwerk. It is a spatial interpretetation of his paintings: colorful, sensual and slightly over the top.
Interieur No. 491999
oil on canvas
152.5 x 183 cm