Karin Kneffel

In Kneffel’s works, different layers of time and perception are superimposed onto one another, which the artist condenses with the inclusion of references to the history of art, architecture and film to produce complex pictorial inventions. Illusion and reality, past and present, representationalism and dreamlike disassociation flow into one another and allow nearly surreal moments to arise.

Karin Kneffel became internationally known with her humorous animal portraits, large-format fruit still lifes and ambiguously designed interior views. Her pictorial language has consistently expanded since her beginnings as a master student of Gerhard Richter: extreme details, abrupt links between views from up close and from a distance, and irritating reflections are among the ingredients of her paintings that are dedicated to an ongoing questioning of reality. At first glance, her works appear realistic due to their attention to detail and illusionism. But certainty recedes upon closer examination—viewers almost literally get the rug pulled out from under them. The paintings demonstrate a critical eye toward the act of looking at a painting.

Karin Kneffel (b. 1957, Marl) studied at Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1981 and 1987. She currently teaches at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München. Her solo exhibitions are Museum Jean de La Fontaine, Château-Thierry (1999); Seduction and Distance, Ulmer Museum, Ulm (2006); Feuer, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter Köln, Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst und Musik, Cologne (2008); House on the Edge of Town, Kunstmuseen Krefeld (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen (2010); Dirimart, İstanbul (2013); Window and Mirror, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Gas Natural Fenosa, La Coruña (2014); Mies von der Rohe pavilion, Barcelona (2014); Fallstudien, Prints, Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Cologne (2015); Bild im Bild, Kunstmuseum Bonn (2017); Museum Freider Burda, Baden-Baden (2019) ve Still, Kunsthalle Bremen (2019). Karin Kneffel lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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