March 6th, 2009
Artist: Silke Otto-Knapp
Venue: Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Winterlong
Date: February 12 – March 21, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles.
Overduin and Kite is pleased to present “Winterlong,” an exhibition of
new paintings by London-based artist Silke Otto-Knapp. This is the
artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Silke Otto-Knapp’s recent paintings focus on staged figures in poses or
choreographed formations. The images are often based on found
photographic sources and are rendered in translucent washes of color or
shimmering monotones of silver gouache on canvas. Using watercolor as
her primary medium, Otto-Knapp builds up the surface in layers, washing
one layer away and painting over what remains, constructing subtle
compositions that are both carefully rendered and beautifully
diaphanous. The arrangements of Otto-Knapp’s figures conflate the
space of the stage and the pictorial space of the paintings creating
varying degrees of depth or flatness.
Though based on photographs, Otto-Knapp eliminates elements of the
photographic composition, such as shadows and highlights, emphasizing
instead the geometric forms of a dancer’s pose, a costume’s pattern, or
the silhouette of a couture gown. Several silver canvases refer to
moments in Bronislava Nijinska’s 1923 ballet “Les Noces,” a subject
that Otto-Knapp has painted frequently, capturing Nijinska’s modernist,
ritualistic choreography in images that alternately reveal themselves
or disappear given the quality of light and perspective of the viewer.
Otto-Knapp’s approach to choreography as a highly specialized, abstract
language is fore-fronted, as the dancers’ formations are presented
outside of any theatrical framework.
Silke Otto-Knapp was born in 1970 in Germany. Since 1995 she has lived
and worked in London. Solo exhibitions of Otto-Knapp’s work have been
organized by the Tate Britain and the Kunstverein Dusseldorf. A survey
exhibition of recent paintings will be held at Modern Art Oxford later