ANTON HENNING (b. 1964)
Born in 1964 in Berlin, Anton Henning dropped out of art school because he simply found it too boring. He preferred instead to train himself, quickly learning how to paint, sculpt, record videos, design environments and make music outside the confines of organized education. Henning has exhibited widely throughout Europe and his work is included in several prominent museum and private collections, though he is not well known in the United States. Today he lives and works in Manker, Germany.
Much of Anton Henning’s work can be read as a contemporary interpretation of gesamtkunstwerk, or synthesis of the various disciplines into a single dialogue. Though primarily a painter, Henning also incorporates sculpture and installation into his work. In an age dominated by the "white cube" exhibition space, Henning seeks to integrate his works of art and the environment in which they are displayed. His Oktogon installation incorporated his paintings into a manufactured interior contained within a large octagon. However he always begins his pieces explicitly with painting, often reinterpreting the classic genres and plundering art history and popular culture for subject matter. Henning’s "Interieur" paintings are complex pictorial systems of paintings within paintings that integrate the artist’s own work with cultural, art historical and biographical references. Henning’s trademark motif, the "Hennling," an abstracted tri-lobed form, is often incorporated into the artist’s paintings. Henning’s fusion of traditional modes of art production into a single work is a distinctive development in the trajectory of contemporary art, in essence commenting on the very nature of the production and display of art.