Esiri Erheriene-Essi










Esiri Erheriene- Essi lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

"The John Baldessari’s quote: ‘Historical mispronounced sounds like hysterical’ can best describe the theme and concern of my paintings. With this as a basis, I am constantly attempting to disrupt the confidence and assumptions of a reader who is familiar with history, thus, confusing their sense of logical sequence. I do this by challenging, displacing, appropriating and, in some cases, playing with the order of both collective and intimate strands of history, memory, myths, and culture of the past and present. In my alternate universe, I pit the musical 1960s group ‘Diana Ross and the Supremes’ against a repeated backdrop of Baader Meinhof/RAF member Brigitte Mohnhaupt, even though there is no evidence to suggest a connection. I paint figures who were lynched in late 19th and early 20th century America and Europe, but on my canvases, they are liberated through the simple act of eradicating the instrument of the noose and the faces of their tormentors. I remove Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro out of film sequences and place him in an edited solitary setting on canvas. I continuously hinder former president John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy moments before the shots in 1963 - so in my narrative time is frozen and the assassination never actually takes place.

This logic is based on reading encyclopedias and referential yearbooks and seeing the historical narrative transcribed and sequenced in chronological order. Meaning, situations, events and images of the past that have no other relation than the fact that they are historical references of the same time, are being connected and placed side by side. So in my painting universe RAF members were inspired by the music of the Supremes, and the Supremes number-one hit song ‘You keep me hangin’ on’ was triggered by atrocities committed by the RAF. I don't know for sure, but these 'almost connections' and new possibilities of readings of the past is what I'm concerned with and what intrigues me the most.

Above all I am fascinated by a continued investigation of mass media, pop cultural iconography, appropriation, and mythology, as well as repetition of imagery. I am obsessed by the gaps, the silences, the disturbances and the assault in the historical narrative. As I am curious about the infinite possibilities of new readings. Thus, history is imperative to my practice but I am taking these references and facts and rewriting things just a bit." Esiri Erheriene-Essi recently graduated from the prestigious post graduate residency De Ateliers in Amsterdam. In 2006 she finished a master in Fine Arts at the University of East London, after completing her bachelor in Media Studies at the same university. Her work was exhibited in several galleries in London and Amsterdam.


1982    Born in London, England,
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands


2007-2009 Post-graduate Institute, De Ateliers, Amsterdam, NL

2004-2006 MA (with Merit) Fine Art, University of East London, London, UK

2001-2004 BA (Hons) Media Studies, University of East London, London, UK

2000-2001 Camberwell College of Art (foundation), London, UK




The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on(solo), Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL


            ZOALS JIJ EN IK (LIKE YOU AND ME), Art Chapel, Amsterdam, NL

What’s New, Acquisitions, Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, NL


            What We Have Overlooked, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL

ROEMERS DRIELING (III),De Nieuwe Bibliotheek Almere, Almere, NL

ROEMERS DRIELING (II), Bibliotheek Den Haag, The Hague, NL

Roemers Drieling in Nieuwspoort, International Press Centre Nieuwspoort, The Hague, NL


Museumnacht 2015 - "Parallel Stories - The Whistleblower and the Dreamcatcher", Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL


ROEMERS DRIELINGCentrum voor Beeldende KunstAmsterdam, NL

The Usual Suspects (solo), Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL

Art Amsterdam 2015, Galerie  Ron Mandos booth, Amsterdam, NL

'Levenslang', het criminele brein ontleed, museum Het Dolhuys, Haarlem, NL

ZIJ WAS EENS... TETEM Kunstruimte, Enschede, NL


Don’t Support the Greedy (solo), Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, NL

'Levenslang', het criminele brein ontleed, museum Het Dolhuys, Haarlem, NL



Open Studio, Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dalsåsen, Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway

Amsterdam Drawing 2013, Stichting Nieuwe Dakota, Amsterdam, NL

Jättekatastrof, Mitt Möllan, Malmö, Sweden


Open Studio, Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dalsåsen, Dale, Norway

Big Show 7, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY, USA


PERFORMANCE (solo), Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL

De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs 2011, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL

What’s New 2, Acquisitions, Museum ArnhemArnhem, NL


VOLTA6, Ron Mandos booth, Basel, Switzerland

What’s New, Acquisitions, Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, NL

Art Rotterdam, Ron Mandos booth, Rotterdam, NL


I Don’t Like Nostalgia Unless it’s Mine (solo), Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam, NL

Offspring, De Ateliers, Amsterdam, NL

Koninklijke Prijs voor de Vrije Schilderkunst (Royal Awards for Painting) (1st Prize), Koninklijk Paleis, Amsterdam, NL


Test (solo), De Ateliers, Amsterdam, NL


Art In Mind, The Brick Lane Gallery, London, England

Disposable Fetish, Bow Arts Trust, London, England


Memory & the Stream of Time, APT Gallery, London, England

Final Exhibition, UEL MA Fine Art, London, England

Student Show, UEL AVA, London, England

Works On Paper, RK Burk Gallery, London, England
End of year show, UEL AVA, London, England


2017    Development Budget, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, The Netherlands

2016    Werkbijdrage Bewezen Talent, Mondriaan Fonds, The Netherlands

2013    Mondriaan Fonds, (Investment project Artist) The Netherlands

2013    Nordic Kunstnarsenter Dalsåsen, Dale, Norway (residency)

2012     Nordic Kunstnarsenter Dalsåsen, Dale, Norway (residency)

2012     Fonds BKVB, (Work Budget), The Netherlands

2011     Fonds BKVB, (Work Budget), The Netherlands

2010    Starter Stipendium, Fonds BKVB, NL

2009    Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst, Amsterdam, NL



Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, NL

Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, NL,

Drake Collection, Wassenaar, NL

Private collections in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Iceland, the United States, Belgium, South Africa and Switzerland 



2016    What We Have Overlooked, 08/02/2016 | FEATURE - Vincent van Velsen

2014    Don’t Support the Greedy’, authors: Marlene Dumas, Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Mirjam Westen and published by Museum Arnhem, ISBN 978-90-72861-52-8


‘Strange Fruit: Esiri Erheriene-Essi’, Koen Kleijn, De Groene Amsterdammer, nr. 25, 2014, p. 50


de Verdieping Trouw, NL,  23/09/2014, p. 4


‘Vooroordelen verpakt in felle kleuren’, Sandra Smets, NRC Handelsblad, 25 april 2014


‘Studio visit: Esiri Erheriene-Essi’, Floor van Luijk, Metropolis M (online only):, 2/09/2014 



            De Volkskrant newspaper NL, 19/09/2013, Kunst: Drawing Amsterdam, p 22

2012    "Uitgelicht: Schilderkunst in Nederland: Generatie 2.0", Braat, Manon, Kunstbeeld, nr. 5, 2012, p. 42

2011    “Amsterdam”, Elephant: The Arts & Visual Culture Magazine, issue 8, Autumn 2011, p 184

De Volkskrant newspaper, NL 18/02/2011

2010    “New Talent”, Blend, van der Does, Bieneke, issue 47, jan/feb 2010, p 102, NL

2009     (Catalogus), Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst, 2009, p 14-17, NL

Offspring 2009, Amsterdam, De Ateliers, p 33 – 40, NL

Signalement: Esiri Erheriene-Essi’, Spijkerman, Sandra, Kunstbeeld, nr. 12/1, pp 34-37



Artist lecture/teaching, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK (February 2015) 


Marlene Dumas: The Power of Photography & The Power of Painting’, artist lecture, 23 Nov 2014, Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL




Artist talk, 'Event: Farewell to the hermetic monoculture', Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Artist lecture, Read My World Festival 2017 "Black USA, Literature of the Resistance", Tolhuistuin Amsterdam/Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.