Inka Essenhigh’s paintings and prints evoke allegorical traditions in which nature and humanity are magically entwined. Her images are inspired by archetypes, representations that symbolize spiritual truths shared by people across the ages. Fantastic beings—from both the mythical past and the dream world of today—float through scenes of metamorphosis, in which rocks, water, trees, and buildings pulse with inner energy. Essenhigh’s animistic world triggers memories of a time in our lives, and in the history of our cultures, when the imagination stirred the inner world without reason or explanation.

Born in 1969, Inka Essenhigh earned her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Her works are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Seattle Art Museum, Tate Modern, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Inka Essenhigh: Between Worlds was organized by the Frist Art Museum.

Special thanks to the Friends of Contemporary Art for their support of this exhibition.

Connect with us @FristCenter, with #InkaAtTheFrist

Location: Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

Exhibition gallery

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