Los Angeles

Anton Henning

Christopher Grimes Gallery

Aptly, if dramatically, titled “Tragedy, Sunburns & Still-lives,” Anton Henning’s second exhibit of paintings at Christopher Grimes Gallery meditated on the materiality and intensity of life. And while these images offer hints of vanitas, one often also finds in them a sense of indulgence in the present moment. Henning positions himself as an heir to all those whose work has displayed a flair for the lush and the strange, from the painters of the Baroque to Courbet, Manet, the post-Impressionists, Matisse, and more recently, the likes of Sigmar Polke, Eric Fischl, and David Salle. Borrowing style and reference promiscuously, Henning advances an approach to painting that is unapologetically figurative and evidences a real pleasure in the materials and processes employed.

It’s not that the paintings shown, made during 2002–2004, are over-the-top or explicit. Rather, they simply seem at ease

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