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Karin Kneffel 1990-2010
Text by Daniel J. Schreiber, Stephan Berg, Klaus Gerrit Friese.
The paintings of Karin Kneffel (born 1957) are seductively illusionistic, reveling in the beauty of surface. Her resplendent interiors seem uncanny, her monumental still lifes surreal, her use of perspective ominously distorted, with reflections that develop a life of their own. With 70 color plates, this volume surveys her work to date.
Featured animal portraits are reproduced from Karin Kneffel 1990-2010.
FROM THE BOOK
"She used to paint heads of domesticated animals- cows, pigs, sheep, geese, and chickens- on small, square panels. The images are so close, direct, and realistic that they cannot possibly be ignored, and yet at the same time so distant and self-contained as to be virtually unapproachable. They are both portraits and the very opposite of portraits, as they are stripped of all individual character by the serial, block-like arrangement in which Karin Kneffel presents them- and because the familiar is suddenly transformed into something foreign, while the identities of the individual animals are obscured by the meticulously applied uniform, emotionless brushstrokes. These portraits represent a deliberately paradoxical attempt to conform to the classic rules of realistic animal painting while breaking them at the same time in a blend of conceptual detachment and painterly pleasure, so to speak. And in essence, this strategy of formal orientation toward important genre traditions in painting combined with the reformulation of content continues to be the central underlying theme of Karin Kneffel’s paintings."
Stephan Berg, excerpted from Karin Kneffel 1990-2010.