Constance Tenvik marks her solo debut in New York City with "Artichoke Hearts" at 56 Henry. The artist, who is based between Berlin and her native Oslo, completed all 12 large-scale paintings appearing in the exhibition earlier this year from a residency in Berlin. Accompanying the show is an interview with Tenvik conducted by famed author Chris Kraus especially for the occasion.
The works primarily center on portraiture, rendered in a stylized, almost cartoon-like manner that stems from Tenvik's extensive illustration practice. Most depictions are of the artist's friends and acquaintances, with the exception of Nightshirt into the Day (2020): a self-portrait in which Tenvik captures herself casually reclining, stomach-down, as though sprawled on the floor of her bedroom, further evidenced by personal items strewn around her—from an open journal and a flip-flop to underwear and a copy of David Hockney's 1993 autobiography That's the Way I See it. Yet, with an abstract background manifesting in wavy, brightly-colored vertical stripes, the scene may be better characterized as a bedroom floor-like state-of-mind.
Constance Tenvik, Bendik Contemplating St. Hans, 2020. Gouache on canvas, 51.2 × 63 inches. Courtesy 56 Henry.