Silke Otto-Knapp “Standing anywhere in the space in a relaxed position”

Dates: Oct 7 – Nov 4, 2006

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce the debut solo exhibition in Japan of German-born, London based painter Silke Otto-Knapp. Otto-Knapp’s work has been included in numerous international museum exhibitions; recent solo-exhibitions include 50ft Queenie, Tate Britain (2005) and Orange View, Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2003). A selection of group exhibitions includes The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2006), British Art Show 6, Baltic, Gateshead (2005), 9th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2005) and The Undiscovered Country, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004). In 2004, Otto-Knapp exhibited for the first time in Japan, participating in the Taka Ishii Gallery group exhibition Sugar Hiccup.

Silke Otto-Knapp initially created images of Los Angeles and Las Vegas cityscapes and gardens. These works were painted exclusively in the unorthodox medium of watercolor on canvas and were based on both found and taken photographic images. Otto-Knapp utilized the lack of her chosen paint carrier [canvas] to absorb the media of watercolor to create densely layered, semi-transparent images; the formal properties of each painting directly referring to the insubstantial nature of her source material. Otto Knapp’s work subsequently more closely examined the artificial interior, focusing concurrently on images of carefully constructed English gardens as well as showgirls and performances housed within casinos located on the previously depicted “Las Vegas Strip”.

Otto Knapp’s Taka Ishii Gallery exhibition represents both a further refinement and development in the artist’s practice. Concentrating on source material more closely related to the body and it’s position within and relation to constructed space, the artist’s draws upon source material as wide ranging as images documenting performance work of American artist Yvonne Rainer to posed photographs of punk-rock musicians. Otto-Knapp re-presents these images on canvas in a simplified form. The addition of solid areas painted in silver gouache to canvases saturated in the artist’s trademark watercolor further complicates the depicted relationship between figure and ground.