The Molesworth Gallery

Mercedes Helnwein

Beth ~ Black pencil on paper ~ 16 1/2 x 22 inches




Michelle Green ~ Oil on canvas ~ 16 1/2 x 22 inches


----“"A writer as well as visual artist, Mercedes Helnwein does not so much tell stories or even capture moments in her drawings as she triggers possibilities—the possibilities being vaguely unlikely, vaguely unsavoury, and not-so-vaguely menacing, rather like inverse Magrittes. Helnwein’s basic ingredient is the fully, fashionably, clothed human figure, more often than not regarding the viewer or about to; occupying a peculiarly lit, but familiar space, they are shown engaged in a solipsistic soliloquy— self-absorbed and drenched in an almost urgent ennui—with someone and/or something else. The something else is never a weapon, and the someone else never seems to be a love interest or BFF, so the narrative tension keeps to a simmer. But that tension is the more pervasive for its very indirection and indefinability…”
Peter Frank for Art Ltd, January 2010


----“Mercedes Helnwein was born in Vienna, daughter to renowned painter and art provocateur Gottfried Helnwein. She later moved to Ireland with her family, where she spent her teens drawing, writing and absorbing influences, which range from the Southern Gothic to the cartoons of Robert Crumb; from Nineteenth Century Russian literature to American motel culture and the Delta blues. The result is a style distinctly her own – unsettling, direct and quietly humorous.

----“In 2003, she added Los Angeles as a second home. Teaming up with friend and photographer Alex Prager, Mercedes Helnwein began exhibiting her art regularly around L.A. in unorthodox one-night shows. Her intricate pencil drawings of weird goings-on soon began to attract a strong following, making her a vital presence the L.A. art scene. She followed these shows with solo outings in Berlin, London and twice at The Molesworth Gallery in Dublin. Mercedes Helnwein currently divides her time between downtown Los Angeles and Ireland. Her work is in many important international collections, while her most recent exhibition in London was bought out in its  entirety by Damien Hirst, who is amassing one of the UK's most important collections of contemporary art.

Curriculum Vitae

Born, Vienna, 1979

Selected exhibitions

2014, No way home, solo exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2013, The Trouble With Dreams, solo exhibition, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles
2012, Make It Dark, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, solo exhibition, Los Angeles
2012, The Beautiful Person, solo exhibition, 2nd Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
2011, Temptation to be Good, solo exhibition, Pool Gallery, Berlin
2010, Temptation to be Good, solo exhibition, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles
2009, Whistling past the graveyard, solo exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2007, Local news, solo exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2007, Strange days, solo exhibition at Bespoke Gallery, New York
May/June 2007 RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin
June 2006, Last chapter of dreaming, drawings at South Tipperary Arts Centre
May 2005, Beyond Representation, group show curated by Shawn Barber, Scion Dashboard, San Francisco, CA
December 2005, Book of Disquiet - a story of the seven deadly sins by Mercedes Helnwein, book launch and  exhibition of accompanying drawings
February 2005, Whitetrashcharms, group exhibition
July 2004,  group show, Hunsaker/ Schlesinger Fine Art, Santa Monika, CA
April 2004, America Motel, installation exhibition, various venues

Selected reviews & publications
February 2007, Irish Times, review of solo exhibition at the Molesworth Gallery
December 2005, Book of Disquiet - a story of the seven deadly sins by Mercedes Helnwein, published by Simon & Schuster
January 2005, Flaunt, Magazine, Self-conscious, a story by Dallas Clayton, drawings by Mercedes Helnwein
August 2004, L A Times, review of drawings  show at Hunsaker/ Schlesinger
April 2004, L A Times, article on upcoming American Motel exhibition by Jessica Gelt
January 2004, Flaunt magazine, Honey hold your breath, article by Mercedes Helenwein.


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