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Silke Otto Knapp Goldregen

cm 60 x 45
Having moved to London to study in the mid-1990s, Silke Otto-Knapp, in her earliest works, portrayed tropical landscapes and deserts, gardens and California panoramas. She then became interested in ballet, and particularly in the classical ballets by Stravinsky. This is the genesis behind a series of works, for the most part silver or gold monochromes, which uniquely investigate the movement of the body through space. She also creates designs for ballerinas’ costumes, like those worn during the performance of the American choreographer Flora Wiegmann, inspired by Saint Laurent’s clothing of the 1960s. "Goldregen" takes its name from a tree with toxic yellow flowers, widespread throughout Germany. Putting together the evocative color of the flower and the theme of dance, the artist depicts the silhouette of a dancer from whom jets of golden rain seem to flow. With a process typical of Otto-Knapp’s language, the image is constructed by starting with the observation of a photograph or a magazine cutting which is then transformed into an icon, a weightless silhouette like an abstract stylized figure. She also has a very special way of using gouache and watercolor applied to canvas, artists’ insider techniques that create a complex space, making it possible to overlay numerous strokes of color without sacrificing an effect of lightness and transparency. The aim is not so much to portray the photographs faithfully with respect to the originals, but rather to create evocative shapes that seem to dissolve in time and space.
On View
Silke Otto-Knapp. Orange View, exhibition catalogue (Düsseldorf, Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande fur Westfalen), Düsseldorf 2003. C. Lorch, “Silke Otto Knapp”, Frieze, 114, April, 2008, p. 183; Silke Otto-Knapp, exhibition catalogue (Copenhagen, Kunsthal Charlottenborg), Copenhagen 2013. R. Heather, N. Schafhausen, Silke Otto-Knapp, (eds.), Questions of travel, exhibition catalogue (Vienna, Kunsthalle; Fogo Island, Fogo Islands Arts), Berlin 2014.
Photo Credits
Foto Roberto Galasso
Legal status
Donation by Claudia Gian Ferrari
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