Inka Essenhigh

 Inka Essenhigh (°1969  Bellefonte, PA)‘s painted visions are richly colored distorted fables peopled with archetypes, sprites, and anthropomorphized nature. The paintings breathe and undulate with life as ocean becomes sea monster, tree becomes goddess, or hipster bar-goers become drunken ghouls. The imagery is imbued with a sense of a collective unconscious and mischievous narrative that makes its way into each landscape, building, and figure. As she describes it, her mythologies strive for “the feeling of an inner vision” captured during the witching twilight hours.



Frist Centre, ‘Between Worlds’, Tennessee, USA

Honolulu Gallery, ‘New Work’, Zurich, Switzerland


Baldwin Gallery, ‘Stars and Flowers’, Colorado, USA


Jacob Lewis Gallery, ‘Comet Dust & Crystal Shards’, New York, USA

Canzani Center, ‘Columbus College of Art & Design’, Ohio, USA


Tomio Koyama Gallery, ‘The Natural and the Man-Made’, Kyoto, Japan


Pace Prints, ‘New Editions and Monoprints’, New York, USA


303 Gallery, ‘The Old New Age’, New York, USA


Victoria Miro, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, London, United Kingdom


303 Gallery, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, New York, USA


Victoria Miro, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, London, United Kingdom

DA2 Domus Artium 2, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, Salamanca, Spain


Sint-Lukas Galerie, Brussels, Belgium

Michael Steinberg Fine Art, ‘Etchings’, New York, USA


Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, ‘Inka Essenhigh: Recent Paintings’ Florida, USA

Il Capricorno, Venice, Italy

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland


Victoria Miro, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, London, United Kingdom

303 Gallery, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, New York, USA


Victoria Miro (Project Room), ‘Works on paper’, London, United Kingdom

Mary Boone Gallery, ‘Works on paper’, New York, USA


Victoria Miro, ‘Inka Essenhigh’, London, United Kingdom

Mary Boone Gallery, ‘Inka Essenhigh/Peter Halley’, New York, USA


Deitch Projects, ‘New Paintings’, New York, USA

New Room of Contemporary Art, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, ‘American Landscapes: Recent Paintings by Inka Essenhigh’, New York, USA


Stefan Stux Gallery, ‘Recent Paintings’, New York, USA


La Mama La Galleria, ‘Wallpaper Paintings’, New York, USA


Ellis King, ‘Dead Among The Dead!’, Dublin, Ireland

Brand New Gallery, ‘Imagine’, Milano, Italy

La MaMa La Galleria, ‘Introductions’, New York, USA


Galerie Torri, ‘Eden, éden, curated by Timothée Chaillou’, Paris, France

The Ukrainian Museum, ‘The Ukrainian Diaspora: Woman Artists 1908-2015’, New York, USA

Paramo gallery, ‘Painters NYC’, Guadalajara, Mexico

-Travelling to Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (MUPO), Oaxaca, Mexico, 11 March – 15 May, 2016


The FLAG Art Foundation, ‘Disturbing Innocence’, New York, USA

Sargent’s Daughters, ‘Sargent’s Daughters,’, New York, USA


Blindarte Contemporanea, ‘The Golden Ass’, Naples, Italy

Victoria Miro, ‘Cinematic Visions: Painting at the Edge of Reality’, London, United Kingdom

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, ‘Pivot Points: 15 Years & Counting’, Florida, USA


Frist Center for the Visual Arts, ‘Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination’, Tennessee, USA(Travelling Exhibition)

Winnipeg Art Gallery, ‘Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination’, Manitoba, Canada(Travelling Exhibition)

Glenbow Art Museum, ‘Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination’, Calgary, Canada(Travelling Exhibition)

Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, ‘The Sound of Painting’, Turin, Italy



Center for Maine Contemporary Art, ‘Inka Essenhigh & Richard Van Buren: Un/Natural Splendor’, Maine, USA

Stephen D. Paine Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design,, ‘Inside the Painter’s Studio’, Massachusetts, USA

Dayton Art Institute, ‘Creating the New Century: Contemporary Art from the Dicke Collection’, Ohio, USA

Center for Maine Contemporary Art, ‘Counterpoint’, Maine, USA


Visual Arts Gallery, ‘Between Picture and Viewer’, New York, USA


Contemporary Center of Art, ‘Counterparts: Contemporary Painters and Their Influences’, Virginia, USA

Von der Heydt-Museum, ‘The Game of Multiple Meaning: Symbolism and the Art of the Present’, Wuppertal, Germany

Museum of Modern Art, ‘Comic Abstraction’, New York, USA

Kunsthallen Brandts, ‘COMIX’, Odense, Denmark

ZKM / Museum Fur Neue kunst, ‘Imagination Becomes Reality’, Karlsruhe, Germany


Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, ‘Painting Codes’, Monfalcone, Italy

Museum of Modern Art, ‘The Complusive Line: Etching 1900 to Now’, New York, USA

The Royal Academy of Art, ‘USA Today’, London, United Kingdom

Goetz Collection, ‘Imagination Becomes Reality, Part III. Talking Pictures’, Munich, Germany

Ben Brown Fine Arts, ‘Motion on Paper’, London, United Kingdom

Weatherspoon Art Museum, ‘Art on Paper 2006’, North Carolina, USA


Feign Contemporary, ‘Life and Limb, curated by David Humphrey’, New York, USA

Centro de Arte de Salamanca, ‘Neobaroque’, Salamanca, Spain


Santa Fe 5th International Biennial, ‘Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque curated by Robert Storr’, Santa Fe, New Mexico

26th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, ‘Funny Cuts – Cartoons and Comics in Contemporary Art’, Stuttgart, Germany

Contemporary Arts Museum, ‘Perspectives at 25’, Texas, USA


Kunstmuseum, ‘Painting Pictures; Painting and Media in the Digital Age’, Wolfsburg, Germany

Carnegie Mellon University, ‘Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New Generation’, Pennsylvania, USA

Contemporary Arts Center, ‘Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New Generation’, Louisiana, USA (Travelling Exhibition)

University of North Texas, ‘Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New Generation’, Pennsylvania, USA (Travelling Exhibition)

Carnegie Mellon University, ‘Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New Generation’, Texas, USA (Travelling Exhibition)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ‘Supernova: Art of the 1990’s from the Logan Collection’, California, USA

The Speed Art Museum, ‘Reverie: Works from the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer’, New York, USA

G Gallery, ‘Drawing’, Washington D.C., USA

Barbara Mathes Gallery, ‘Drawing’, New York, USA</p


The Royal Academy of Art, ‘The Galleries Show’, London, United Kingdom

Contemporary Arts Museum, ‘Pertaining to Painting’, Texas, USA

Austin Museum of Art, ‘Pertaining to Painting’, Texas, USA

Angstrom Gallery, ‘Jay Davis, Inka Essenhigh, Christian Schuman’, Texas, USA


Tate Gallery, ‘Hybrids’, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Angstrom Gallery, ‘braille’, Texas, USA

2nd Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany

Victoria Miro, ‘Works on paper: from Acconci to Zittel’, London, United Kingdom

SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuelle Kunst, ‘Casino 2001, 1st Quadrennial of Contemporary Art’, Ghent, Belgium


PS1 Contemporary Art Center, ‘Greater New York: New Art in New York Now’, New York, USA

Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, ‘The Figure: Another State of Modernism’, New York, USA

Deitch Projects, ‘Deitch/Steinberg New Editions’, New York, USA

Center for Contemporary Art, ‘Emotional Rescue’, Washington, USA

Brooke Alexander, ‘To Infinity and Beyond’, New York, USA


Jessica Fredericks Gallery, ‘Pleasure Dome’, New York, USA

Stefan Stux Gallery, ‘The Armory Show’, New York, USA

Sixth @ Prince Fine Art, ‘A room with a view’, New York, USA


Pamela Auchincloss Project Space, ‘The New Surrealism’, New York, USA

Exit Art/The First World, ‘Wild’, New York, USA

The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Pop Surrealism’, Connecticut, USA

Stefan Stux Gallery, ‘Summer Review, 98’, New York, USA

Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, ‘Celebrating Diversity: Contemporary Women Painters’, New York, USA

Stefanelli Exhibition Space, ‘ANATOMY/INTELLECT’, New York, USA


Stefan Stux Gallery, ‘Sex/Industry’, New York, USA

Stefan Stux Gallery, ‘The Art Exchange Fair’, New York, USA

Tricia Collins’ Grand Salon, ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’, New York, USA


View Room Exhibitions, ‘Set Off: Inaugural Group Show’, New York, USA

André Zarre Gallery, ‘Underexposed: Nine Young American Painters, New York, USA

Artists’ Space, ‘Featured Web Page Artist for December’, New York, USA

Artists’ Space, ‘Night of 1000 Drawings’, New York, USA


School of Visual Arts, FirstFloor Gallery, ‘Juried Group Show’, New York, USA


Ukrainian Museum, ‘Young Ukrainian American Painters Group Show’, New York, USA

Visual Arts Gallery, ‘Work-Play: Picture Thinking and the Analogical Imagination’, New York, USA

School of Visual Arts, Wooster Street Gallery, ‘Group Show: Inka Essenhigh, Stephen Mumford and Leemour Pelli: Paintings’, New York, USA


  • Belfonte, Pennsylvania, USA 1969


  • Lives and works in New York