This painting is part of Inka Essenhigh's Uchronia series, which debuted in her solo exhibition at Kavi Gupta in 2019. The series envisages a hypothetical, idyllic future for the inhabitants of Earth. Questioning whether our species will adapt to the challenges of the late Holocene or follow the path to extinction forged by countless other species, Essenhigh imagines the multitude of plausible realities towards which we might be headed. She wonders: "Can painting a beautiful future help make it come true? If we have a picture of what we want, can we head towards that?"; Like ancient, Roman murals, whose fractured scenes remind us that violence and mysticism was part of our past nature, Essenhigh's Uchronic images show our progeny living in harmony with nature in a blazing world, re-telling the human story to affect our imagined destiny. "The paintings do not show a complete picture," says Essenhigh, "but rather fragments where we have to wonder how much is symbolic, how much is abstracted, or how much is literal. In The Living Room (2019), two children romp around what initially looks like an outdoor scene reminiscent of an Etruscan mural, but do they not have mouths? Was this a mutation? An improvement? Did something grotesque happen? It could look like a stylized person, but to someone in the future this could be exactly what they want to look like. This Uchronia may have problems. All these paintings show is that the biggest threat to our survival—ecological extinction—has been solved." "I'm not posing these pictures as definitive answers," says Essenhigh. "I'm posing them as possibilities—a way to begin the conversation about what we want our future to look like. Some of the paintings are presented as relics, as if to implant a memory in the viewer's subconscious. The question is, do we believe it?" <b>Artist Background</b>: Inka Essenhigh (b. 1969, Pennsylvania, US) employs a mix of imagination and "inner vision" to translate the visible world into arabesque enamel paintings that reveal the unseen worlds of energy, feeling and mystery that lurk beyond everyday life. Complex and always enchanting, her work explores contemporary culture and nature in ways that evoke in viewers something magical. Recent exhibitions include a site-specific wall drawing at the Drawing Center in New York (on view through June 2019), Inka Essenhigh: a fine line, at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, the 2nd Berlin Biennale in Berlin Germany, and the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Works by Essenhigh are included in the collections of the Tate London, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art / P.S.1, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Seattle Art Museums, among others.

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