Gether Contemporary is thrilled to present Uwe Henneken's (DE) first ever solo exhibition with the gallery. Henneken's dynamic and ever evolving practice takes center stage in Integrity Studies: Painting in a World Unhinged, where dream-like scenes serve as a captivating exploration of introspection and extrospection, encapsulating the surreal essence of the modern world.
The exhibition delves deep into the concept of integrity, transcending its role as a personal virtue to become a potent force for healing and wholeness. Henneken draws parallels between integrity and integration, underscoring an ongoing journey that demands daily navigation and the dialogue within every work weaves a continuous thread between control and letting go.
Featuring a diverse array of paintings, the exhibition, among other things showcases archetypal images of passages, portals, and thresholds, an allegorical nod to profound transformation and inner change. Henneken's exploration of the inner and outer worlds captures sensitivity, openness, and connectedness to the expressive desires inherent in art itself. Shifting his focus inward, the artist immortalizes moments of transition and transformation, interpreting this space as a sanctuary—a point of connection with the unconscious, perceived as a threshold demanding courageous crossing. Certain images reveal the emergence of the forest and its hidden depths as distinct entities from other realms.
Symbolic elements such as boats, butterflies, and depictions of migration accentuate the universal journey—both personal and collective. The delicate strokes in the butterfly paintings, for instance, bear witness to the profound metamorphosis from caterpillar to ethereal butterfly, a majestic journey already traversed. Yet, within the fluttering wings lies a deeper transformation, whispering of a metamorphosis not merely into a butterfly but into pure light itself. The canvas transforms into a cocoon, cradling latent brilliance yet to unfold—a silent anticipation of a creature on the brink of ultimate transcendence.
The exhibition incorporates a spectrum of emotions, capturing Henneken's relentless pursuit of integrity, humility, and honesty in a world besieged by external pressures. Themes of fear, anxiety, and rage, reflecting on the consequences of past actions, environmental exploitation, and societal imbalance, are juxtaposed against the artist's unwavering commitment to inner peace as a prerequisite for extending peace and care to others.
Uwe Henneken (B. 1974, Paderborn) lives and works in Stege, Denmark. Henneken have had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Gießen 2019, Centro Cultural Andratx 2018, Gesellschaft für Gegenwartskunst, Augsburg 2011, Kunstverein Braunschweig 2010, and Frans-Hals-Museum, Harlem 2007. Group exhibitions include Kunsthalle Bremen 2018, Kunstpalais Erlangen 2016, me Collectors Room, Berlin 2014, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen 2012, Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux 2011, ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Arp Museum Rolandseck, Remagen, all 2011, Lido Pavilion, 53th Venice Biennial, Venice, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, both 2009 and Aspen Art Museum, Aspen 2007, among many more.
His work is held in the permanent collections of Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, Pinault Collection, Venice, Boros Collection, Berlin and Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich.