Inka Essenhigh

15 March - 28 April 2000
Victoria Miro Cork Street

Information

16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

In Essenhigh’s most recent large-scale canvases, action figures are cast alongside the demimonde in roles where time-honoured human concerns such as patriotism, religion, competitiveness and heroism are played out in futuristic, Madmax-like landscapes.  Her paintings present a new, but not necessarily better world than our own; one whose rather outlandish laws of physics are defined by the emotional content of the narratives taking shape. Essenhigh creates an enigmatic world in which polymerous beings with decapitated heads or other bodily parts, wield high tech weapons and voyage in and out of a cyberpunk underworld. Her canvases are filled with constant motion and action, in which the superhuman characters take on alternative feats of heroism and destruction.  However, it is these very same characters whose actions appear suspended in between two worlds - in which mediaeval figures meet cyborgs within a sublime purgatory where anything is possible.

Essenhigh’s paintings are reflective of her ability to unite several divergent influences from Antiquity to the present day, including the iconography of Italian Renaissance painting, the aesthetic sensibilities of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and the contemporary mythologies of Matthew Barney. There are no individuals in her works, just prototypes, as if these beings could be reduced to merely haircuts and uniforms that act out their inevitable roles:  messiahs are worshipped, cheerleaders are enthusiastic, villains are defeated. The array of sentiment portrayed is meant to be real; the violence and tenderness meant to be felt.

The fabricated-plastic look of the surfaces created by the enamel paint gives Essenhigh’s paintings their ultimate content. Glossy, impastoed monochromatic colours such as eggplant, mud yellow,  aquamarine, and blood red, aptly reflect a 21st century tendency toward manufactured cyber colours.   It is as if through modern science she is attempting to genetically engineer a parallel world.  

Gallery Exhibitions: Current and Upcoming

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Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

info@victoria-miro.com

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Victoria Miro Venice

Il Capricorno, San Marco 1994,

Calle Drio La Chiesa

30124 Venice, Italy

t: +39 041 523 3799 

info@victoria-miro.com
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Opening Times

London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm. 

 

Venice: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. 

 

We are also closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. 

 

Admission free. 



 

Enquiries

All general enquiries should be sent to  
info@victoria-miro.com


Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.

 

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Staff contact details

Directors

Victoria Miro
W.P. Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
Divya Pande
Head of Directors' Office, Client and Business Development
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0903

Sales

Matt Carey-Williams
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Oliver Miro
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Alessandra Modiano
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Fern Warriner
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Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0905
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
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Erin Manns
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Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Director of Exhibitions
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Mary Taylor
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Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Production and Artist Projects
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Kathy Stephenson
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Martin Coomer
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Marisa J. Futernick
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Katrina Millar
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Emer Bermingham
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Adeline Guy
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Jayne Archard
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Alice Panton
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Elina Pelvanidi
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David Wood
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Martin Fletcher
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Jonny Winter
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Rob Phillips
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Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Technician
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Finance

Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109