Sensual surfaces seduce the eye, inviting the viewer to simply enjoy. Karin Kneffel paints canvasses that exert a magical attraction. Her realist painting draws the viewer into sophisticated visual worlds in which her skillful arrangement of formal ornaments and the interplay of colors blend into an optical fireworks display. However, the works retain a secretive aloofness, as if the perfect, inviting, yet sealed-off surface is deliberately preventing a closer look.
Oversized fruit arrangements, luxurious interiors, subtle reflections, blending of motifs and various image layers combine to create an aesthetic effect that immediately captivates the observer. The stories that the artist combines and expands in her works give the usually large-scale oil paintings an intriguing depth and density of content. Fragments from art and film history, literature and auto-biographical references turn Kneffel’ s artworks into visual Matryoshka nested dolls that make looking at her art a highly enjoyable experience. Like pearls on a chain, the paintings line up beside each other, one building on the content of another, continuing a narrative thread.
Karin Kneffel (b. 1957 in Marl), master student of Gerhard Richter, is one of Germany‘s best-known and successful artists. The exhibition in Museum Frieder Burda is her first retrospective in about ten years. Designed in close co-operation with the artist herself, the exhibition is being drawn up as a joint venture with Kunsthalle Bremen. In addition to early masterpieces, the show concentrates mainly on works from the last ten years, and new, never-before-displayed works she has created especially for Baden-Baden, inspired by and intended to pay homage to the Collection Frieder Burda.