Haunch of Venison

Anton Henning

18 May - 30 Jun 2007

The answer (my friend)
Oil on wood, fan
56.5 x 71 x 54 cm

For his second solo exhibition at Haunch of Venison London, German artist Anton Henning will present an extraordinary new installation, Oase, alongside one of his largest paintings to date, 'Interieur No.339' (Loop).

Henning's work proposes a radical revision of the boundaries which we position around a work of art. His installations place portraiture, the nude, still life and landscape in a dialogue with abstraction and create carefully orchestrated 'salons' for the contemplation of these radical confrontations. Henning's work is united by a delight in sensual pleasure and a passion for the tactile quality of paint. Recurring motifs and colour combinations reveal further unity within his oeuvre.

In the work 'Oase', immaculately crafted plinths supporting assorted sculptural forms erupt from a brightly coloured abstract carpet, which is itself based on one of Henning's paintings, 'Interieur No.342' (2006). 'Oase' features a range of forms including structures constructed from paintings depicting chairs; balls or globes decorated with abstract motifs; tables stacked one upon another to create an abstract tower; a self portrait on a packing case and a porcelain lavatory.

The objects within the piece form a visual compendium of Henning's concerns, including aspects of portraiture, abstraction and still life. As with all of the artist's carefully planned interiors Henning's sculpture can be thought of as a way of bringing his painterly concerns into three dimensions.

Henning's work 'Oase' is characterised by a sense of exuberance, yet also represents a serious interrogation of the history of art and the medium of both painting and sculpture. This exuberance is continued in the vast, six meter long work 'Interieur No.339 (Loop)'. A single unbroken line, both sensual and tactile, loops and curls across the canvas, suggesting an illusion of space and marking out pools of delicately coloured paint. From across the gallery the painting is observed by 'Portrait No.157' (2006), in which an attenuated being with a single eyeball - perhaps a distant cousin of Picasso's surrealist bathers - reclines on a chair and smokes a cigarette. As in all Henning's work, correspondences and associations are established across genres. The twisting forms of this strange figure echo the whorls and loops of the big abstract.

Tags: Anton Henning, Pablo Picasso