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Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Media Contact
Sallie Wiggins
757-425-0000 ex. 321

Virginia Beach, VA – February 7, 2018 – The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrates the opening of Inka Essenhigh: A Fine Line, 6:30pm on Friday, March 16. Essenhigh gained national attention in the late 1990’s and is known for her experiments with enamel paint, traditional oils, and printmaking. Inspired by time spent in New York City and Maine, Essenhigh developed her signature use of line by practicing automatic drawing. Fantastical images of the everyday, both urban and rural, distinguish her work.

Essenhigh’s large-format paintings will illuminate MOCA’s TowneBank Galleries with otherworldly expression. Ghosts and gods, monsters and maenads, carry Essenhigh’s portrayal of the 21st-century human from her brush into the viewer’s imagination.

In conjunction with the exhibition, MOCA will publish Inka Essenhigh’s first-ever monograph. The book will include full-color images of Essenhigh’s work with writing by MOCA’s Heather Hakimzadeh and Alison Byrne, an interview with former MOCA exhibiting artist Ryan McGuiness and Inka Essenhigh, and an essay by Matthew Weinstein.

“We are excited to share Inka Essenhigh’s art with our communities in Hampton Roads, as well as guests visiting Virginia Beach. A Fine Line was entirely conceived of by MOCA’s exhibitions team and curated by MOCA Curator, Heather Hakimzadeh. The exhibition will travel to other U.S. museums after it closes at MOCA,” comments Director of Exhibitions and Education, Alison Byrne.

ABOUT INKA ESSENHIGH: Inka Essenhigh studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio (1991) and the School of Visual Arts in New York (1992-1994). The public collections that hold her work including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; P.S.1 Center for Contemporary Art/ MoMA, New York, NY; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Tate Gallery, London, England; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. She is represented by Victoria Miro Gallery in London, and Miles McEnery Gallery in New York. She lives and works in New York City.

ABOUT MOCA: The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located in Virginia Beach, is a non-profit that exists to foster awareness, exploration and understanding of the significant art of our time. MOCA is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As Virginia's only museum dedicated solely to the exhibition of contemporary art, MOCA encourages visitors to discover and explore art and to engage in handson art experiences.

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MOCA is located at 2200 Parks Ave., at the entrance of I-264 in Virginia Beach. The Museum is open Tue-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat and Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $7.70 for adults and $5.50 for seniors/65+, students (includes children 5 and up) and active military. MOCA members and children four and under are admitted free of charge.

Image credit: Inka Essenhigh, Fairy Procession, 2016. Oil and enamel on panel; 78 x 80 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY