Inka Essenhigh

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Inka Essenhigh (born 1969 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania) is a painter based in New York City.

Artist Inka Essenhigh in New York City


Essenhigh studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio (1991) and earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York (1992–94).[1] She currently lives in New York City and is married to the artist Steve Mumford.


In the late 1990s, Essenhigh's work attracted attention as one of a generation of young painters in New York, including Cecily Brown, Damien Loeb and Will Cotton.[2] Her early work was sometimes characterized as "Pop Surrealism" for its strangely attenuated cartoon forms and flat, simple colors.[3][4] Critics reviewing her paintings have found a wide range of influence, including 19th-century caricatures, oriental art, Arabic miniatures, and contemporary comics.[5]

One of her most recent exhibitions, at Jacob Lewis Gallery in Manhattan in fall 2014, received positive coverage, and showcased work showing a shift in her style, toward more representational work.[6][7]

Along with her husband, she was one of 50 painters and sculptors featured in artist Joe Fig's 2009 project and book Inside the Artist's Studio.[8]

Exhibits and Collections[edit]

Essenhigh has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at: the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (2012); Dayton Art Institute (2011); Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport (2011); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); The Royal Academy of Art, London (2006); Domus Artium 2, Salamanca (2005); São Paulo Biennale (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2003), the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2003), the 2nd Berlin Biennale, Berlin Germany (2001); and PS1 MoMA, New York (2000).

Her work is in the collections of major museums including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Denver Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; PS1 MoMA, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; Tate Gallery, London; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Denver Art Museum, Denver and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

She is represented by Victoria Miro in London.[9]


  1. ^ "Inka Essenhigh" (PDF). Victoria Miro. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Hoban, Phoebe: "The Mod Squad", New York Magazine, Jan 5, 1999
  3. ^ Nahas, Dominique and Klein, Richard: "Pop Surrealism", Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Jan, 1999
  4. ^ Clearwater, Bonnie: "Inka Essenhigh", Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Nov, 2003
  5. ^ Goldsworthy, Rupert (March 26, 2011). "The Magic of Twilight: Inka Essenhigh on Working Fast and Being Timeless". Art Critical. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Plagens, Peter (Oct 24, 2014). "Art Review: Gallery Exhibitions of Inka Essenhigh, Michelle Grabner and Russian Avant-Garde Art". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Setup: Inka Essenhigh – "Comet Dust & Crystal Shards" @ Jacob Lewis Gallery". Arrested Motion. October 14, 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Miniature Models of Famous Artists in their Studios". Twisted Sifter. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Inka Essenhigh, Visual artist". Atlantic Center for the Arts. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 

External links[edit]