Anton Henning: The Beholders through the Peep-Hole of the Beautiful Artist

7 June - 30 August 2013 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a special commission in The Box by Anton Henning. The Beholders through the Peep-Hole of the Beautiful Artist, 2013, is a miniature gallery installation of his paintings – one that gives a glimpse into his line of thinking in the lead up to his first solo exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in November 2013. Viewed through a peep-hole, one sees a stage set inhabited by a group of Simpsons characters. Henning introduces us to the animated cast that will become the subjects of his new paintings.


He says of this installation:

‘Homer is distracted by a donut which he holds dangerously close to a painting, Mr. Burns puts his pointy beak into Pin-up No. 141 (2009)’s cleavage, Barney is looking at something that caught his interest (or thinking about his well deserved beer) while Apu is contemplating the moral aspects of nude painting. Of the group, Mr. Burns is the only visitor who could potentially make substantial purchases. This installation refers to the sensitive and complicated relationship between artist and viewer, and angst and Romantic irony as conditions in artistic production. My exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in November will be highlighting the possibilities of portrait, nude and interior painting, using the characters of the Simpsons as live models.’


Henning's practice develops and explores the possibilities of a Gesamtkunstwerk - a total work of art. Spanning painting, sculpture, photography and film, his works in one sense continue the 'Modernist project', expanding upon the styles and tropes of Modern Masters from Courbet to Picasso, whilst also drawing on contemporary culture.


Anton Henning was born in 1964. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Magasin 3, Stockholm; Mamco, Geneva; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg; Kunsthalle Mannheim; Gemeente Museum, Den Haag; S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; MARTa Herford, Herford; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne. His work is represented in important international collections, including Arp Museum, Remagen; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Centre National des Arts, Paris; Daros Collection, Zurich; De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg; Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt am Main; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg; Frieder Burda Museum, Baden Baden; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne; LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden; MOCA, Los Angeles; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Neues Museum, Nürnberg; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Portland Art Museum, Portland; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; The Menil Collection, Houston; UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Valencia Art Contemporaneo, Valencia.


The Box is a unique architectural space through which the gallery facilitates new projects with important emerging and established artists. Other commissions include Ai Weiwei, Martha Rosler, Daniel Arsham, Olaf Breuning, Trenton Doyle Hancock, David Batchelor and Hussein Chalayan.