April 16 - June 4, 2011
After nearly 20 years of ongoing cooperation with Anton Henning I am pleased to present "Bildschön" at the Halle am Wasser.
"Anton Henning is the prophet of mixing, of blending, of taking up again and a concrete circulation of works and ideas, in any case more akin to hedonism than to artistic purity laws of any kind."
Quotation: Thomas Wagner, Antonym, Hatje Cantz, 2009, page 10
"At the same time an oeuvre has built up over the years that permits at least a few assumptions. What in fact distinguishes this oeuvre? When we click to Henning’s homepage we find five categories under the heading –'Painting': Interiors, Flower Pieces, Pin-ups, Portraits, Other Paintings – categories we would expect more from a mail-order catalogue than from an artist at the dawn of the 21st century with a serious reputation. Yet it is precisely here that part of his provocative strength lies: beckoning with kitsch and then catching us out by serving up art."
Quotation: Martin Hentschel, Anton Henning, Kerber Verlag Bielefeld 2006, page 53
"However, not only therefore is his art somewhat elitist and can inspire probably only those who already bring along a certain knowledge. Especially the purposeful taste injuries operate in an exclusionary way. Who wants to appreciate it, needs, as formulated by Susan Sontag, a 'good taste of the bad taste'. (...)
In a more refined variety, as represented by Anton Henning, Bad Painting is however, in order to quote again a formulation of Susan Sontag's Notes on Camp, 'good for digesting'. So great is the danger that the snubbing moment becomes the end in itself and that it comes to superiority gestures and intimidations, so great here is the opportunity that works prove themselves as salutary against symptoms of elitist-high notions of art: If, for a start, a desire for the absurd, funny and bizarre awoke, an art setting on sublimity and transcendence will most likely not have it so easy any longer. It appears then suddenly as humorless and presumed, as if covered in its requirements. Many of Henning’s works are like good cabaret: astute, witty, spontaneous, fast-reacting."
Quotation: Wolfgang Ullrich, DIE ZEIT, 13.08.2009 No. 34