"Pin-up No.96 (Ariadne)" (2005) by Anton Henning, oil on canvas, 125.5 x 157 cm. Courtesy: Haunch of Venison. Copyright: Anton Henning, 2005
Anton Henning (German, born Berlin in 1964) is a painter whose diverse subjects and styles, from abstract to figurative, from pin-up girls to interiors are plundered knowingly from art history and popular culture. However, unlike Picabia to whom he has been compared, Henning’s diverse paintings are united by a delight in sensual pleasure, a passion for the tactile quality of paint, and a critical and subversive wit. [...] For example, in Pin-up No.96 (Ariadne), 2005 (pictured above) a sunbathing naked woman is overpainted on an abstract patterned background that can be read as a huge beach towel. However, Henning has given the work a black horizon, introducing an element of pure abstraction, and giving the total composition a sense of the surreal. This playful combination of disparate elements and styles helps to make seemingly familiar imagery strange and arresting.