Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

 

Karen Kilimnik
November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008
Cologne

The exhibition comprises works on paper, photographs and new oil paintings. As in her last solo exhibition at the London gallery, Kilimnik is also showing an installation of a forest, in this case a fairytale birch forest in winter.

The artist for one uses well-known historical clichés; for another she cites the present in her installations. A sense of the artificial, of staging, is characteristic of her work. Since the 1990s she has been seen as a precursor for this kind of theatrical mise-en-scène installation art.

 

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She repeatedly resorts to the aesthetics of nineteenth-century European culture for her installations, which she stages inter alia in their original historical settings. In this way she combines genre painting and historical events with contemporary pop culture and thereby with her own experience. The fantastic, fairytale-like, recurring references to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantics, and the proximity to painters like Stubbs, Oudry and Raeburn are significant for her painting. She habitually—and masterfully—breaches her own painterly style and the flawlessness that is inherent to her installations by inserting moments of shock and irritation that usually take the form of arrangements made of cheap disposable material.

A crystal glass chandelier in the first part of the space sets the scene for Karen Kilimnik’s oil paintings, photographs and drawings right at the start of the exhibition. Unlike in her earlier shows, in this exhibition she does not work with colored wallpapers or walls that she includes in her installations as an artistic element. Her approach to the architecture of the rooms at the Cologne gallery is more restrained. She leaves the walls of the exhibition space and the frames of her paintings neutral in color, for example.

In Kilimnik’s new photo work “The Snow Queen's Sleigh” we see a sledge laden with presents that has been left in a snow-clad winter forest. The subject of this photograph points to the allover installation in the next space. What we see there is a partly snow-covered birch forest populated by creatures such as an Arctic fox and an eagle owl. Both are based on the real animals but stylised and made of fabric. The installation creates contrasting moods and condensed dreamlike scenes by using both real tree trunks and authentic forest noises and also artificial snow and stuffed animals.

Happiness, pleasure, the mysterious and the sinister all appear here in Kilimnik’s mise-en-scène as protagonists with equal rights. Kilimnik’s artistry of visual seduction by means of the romantically sublime is something that she herself foils time and again in a flash with elements of a raw reality fed from the present and from her own experience.

 

Installation Views
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Details
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, November 17, 2007–January 19, 2008

Details
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Exhibited Works
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
The swedish gustavian style room possibly in England, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
The swedish gustavian style room possibly in England, 2007
Pencil, colored pencil and ink on paper
50.8 × 76.2 cm
20 × 30 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
Animal actors + actresses on stage set, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
Animal actors + actresses on stage set, 2007
Pencil and watercolor on paper
30.5 × 45.7 cm
12 × 18 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
The worrywart, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
The worrywart, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
35.6 × 28 cm
14 × 11 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
The cloven hoof in the woods, 2006

Karen Kilimnik
The cloven hoof in the woods, 2006
Water soluble oil color on canvas
30.5 × 22.9 cm
12 × 9 inches
50 × 42 × 8 cm (framed)
19 3/4 × 16 1/2 × 3 1/8 inches (framed)

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
My walk by my woods – early evening – full moon, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
My walk by my woods – early evening – full moon, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
30.5 × 23 cm
12 × 9 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
My brother and me, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
My brother and me, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
45.7 × 35.6 cm
18 × 14 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
Duchess of Laramoor, 1998

Karen Kilimnik
Duchess of Laramoor, 1998
Watercolor on paper
26 × 35.6 cm
10 1/4 × 14 inches

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
The snow queen`s sleigh, 2007

Karen Kilimnik
The snow queen`s sleigh, 2007
C-print
35.6 × 28 cm
14 × 11 inches
50.8 × 40.6 cm (framed)
20 × 16 inches (framed)

Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadère's Forest, 2003-2007
More Views

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadère's Forest, 2003-2007
Mixed media
(soil, tree trunks, moss, bark mulch, artificial flowers, ivy and branches; audio cassette, toy plush owl and audio cassette emitter)

More Views
Details
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The swedish gustavian style room possibly in England, 2007
Pencil, colored pencil and ink on paper
50.8 × 76.2 cm
20 × 30 inches

Karen Kilimnik
The swedish gustavian style room possibly in England, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Animal actors + actresses on stage set, 2007
Pencil and watercolor on paper
30.5 × 45.7 cm
12 × 18 inches

Karen Kilimnik
Animal actors + actresses on stage set, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The worrywart, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
35.6 × 28 cm
14 × 11 inches

Karen Kilimnik
The worrywart, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The cloven hoof in the woods, 2006
Water soluble oil color on canvas
30.5 × 22.9 cm
12 × 9 inches
50 × 42 × 8 cm (framed)
19 3/4 × 16 1/2 × 3 1/8 inches (framed)

Karen Kilimnik
The cloven hoof in the woods, 2006
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
My walk by my woods – early evening – full moon, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
30.5 × 23 cm
12 × 9 inches

Karen Kilimnik
My walk by my woods – early evening – full moon, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
My brother and me, 2007
Water soluble oil color on canvas
45.7 × 35.6 cm
18 × 14 inches

Karen Kilimnik
My brother and me, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
Duchess of Laramoor, 1998
Watercolor on paper
26 × 35.6 cm
10 1/4 × 14 inches

Karen Kilimnik
Duchess of Laramoor, 1998
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The snow queen`s sleigh, 2007
C-print
35.6 × 28 cm
14 × 11 inches
50.8 × 40.6 cm (framed)
20 × 16 inches (framed)

Karen Kilimnik
The snow queen`s sleigh, 2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadère's Forest, 2003-2007
Mixed media
(soil, tree trunks, moss, bark mulch, artificial flowers, ivy and branches; audio cassette, toy plush owl and audio cassette emitter)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadère's Forest, 2003-2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007 (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007 (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007 (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007 (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne
Karen Kilimnik – Karen Kilimnik – Cologne

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007 (detail)

Karen Kilimnik
The Snow Queen Invades La Bayadere's Forest, 2003-2007
Details
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Selected Press

Erlesener Eklektizismus: Karen Kilimnik
db artmag, review by Tim Ackermann, January, 2008