Karin Kneffel’s lush and eloquent pictures are perfectly constructed impossibilities—collapsing heterogeneous places and incidents in a flawlessly executed, seductively realist manner. Although many of her sources actually exist, the resulting images are cunningly wrought scenes inspired by the many lives of art, and which highlight painting's unique ability to simultaneously uphold and destroy illusions.
Karin Kneffel was born in 1957 in Marl, Germany. From 1981 to 1987, she studied at Westphalian Wilhelm University, Germany, and Comprehensive University of Duisburg, Germany. From 1981 to 1987, she studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Germany. She was a visiting professor at the University of the Arts, Germany, in 1998, and at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavik, in 2000. From 2000 to 2008, Kneffel was a professor at the University of the Arts, Germany, and in 2008, she was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum Jean de La Fontaine, France (1999); Monks House-Museum of Modern Art, Germany (2006); Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne (2008); Haus Esters, Germany (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (2010); Museo De Arte Contemporáneo, Spain (2014); Barcelona Pavilion, Spain (2014); “Fallstudien,” Kathe Kollwitz Museum, Germany (2015); “Works on Paper,” Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Germany (2015); and “Bild im Bild,” Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2017).
Kneffel currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.
December 1, 2017–June 3, 2018
Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany
For this exhibition, several rooms have been specially designed by artists, and works included range from painting and sculpture to photography and video work, along with multimedia installations. Work by Karin Kneffel and Rachel Whiteread is included.
Karin Kneffel, Untitled, 2008, Miettinen Collection © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Modes of Behavior Towards People When Affection Plays a Part
July 15–November 5, 2017
Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany
The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart will present a selection from the collection of Alison and Peter W. Klein. The Kleins, who have been collecting for over thirty years, have amassed a varied collection of more than two thousand works by international artists. Work by Gregory Crewdson, Anselm Kiefer, and Karin Kneffel is included.
Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 2003/05 © Gregory Crewdson
Karin Kneffel in
We Love Animals: 400 Years of Animal and Man in Art
July 1–October 15, 2017
Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Germany
This exhibition examines the various historical portrayals of humans in relation to animals, via depictions of wild and exotic animals of the sixteenth century, idealistic animal portraits of the Romantic period, and works involving live animals. The show combines some one hundred works to focus on the course of culture-shaped images. Work by Karin Kneffel is included.
Karin Kneffel, Portrait, 1991, Sammlung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg © 2017 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Picture in the Picture
April 30–September 3, 2017
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
Flawlessly seaming together pictures, spaces, and times in a seductively realist manner, Karin Kneffel paints pictures that are perfectly constructed impossibilities. To open up the stories and questions around the creation of these pictures, this exhibition closely examines the artist’s source material and process with extensive workshops as well as supplemental picture and text materials.
Karin Kneffel, Untitled, 2011.
Photo by Achim Kukulies