Karen Kilimnik: Early Drawings 1976–1998

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Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

7a Grafton Street, W1S 4EJ, London, UK
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


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Karen Kilimnik: Early Drawings 1976–1998

London

Karen Kilimnik: Early Drawings 1976–1998
to Sat 21 May 2022
Tue-Sat 10am-6pm
Artist: Karen Kilimnik

Exhibition tour: Saturday 14 May, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm on the hour. The tours will be led by Ben Jones, art historian and educator. Please RSVP stating your preferred time and number of guests at rsvp.london@spruethmagers.com.

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers present Early Drawings from 1976–1998, a solo exhibition by Karen Kilimnik at the London gallery, presented jointly with Galerie Eva Presenhuber in New York. The show features the artist’s own, rich and varied selection of over fifty previously unseen early works on paper. Detailed, finely-worked pastel drawings created between 1976 to 1998 are presented along with ink drawings and other work from that same period; together they illuminate the scope, complexity and virtuosity of Kilimnik’s thematic world.

Artworks

Lambeth walk, London Thames & Houses of Parlament, 1978

Ink and watercolor on paper
21.5 × 28 cm 8 1/2 × 11 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Bowler hat & umbrella, London!, 1993

Pastel and charcoal on paper
65 × 50 cm 25 5/8 × 19 3/4 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Jamaica Wine House, 1976

Ink and watercolor on paper
21.5 × 28 cm 8 1/2 × 11 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Spies in Berlin – train station, Berlin wall, 1988

Pastel and crayon on paper
89 × 58.5 cm 35 × 23 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Car rally Avengers £50,000 breakfast, vrrooomm!, 1979

Ink and watercolor on paper
28 × 35.5 cm 11 × 14 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Untitled, 1982

Ink and watercolor on paper
30.5 × 19 cm 12 × 7 1/2 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Untitled, 2022

Ink and collage on paper
35.5 × 43 cm 14 × 17 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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A toast! American greeting card company!, 1980

Ink and watercolor on glossy paper
22 × 20.5 cm 8 3/4 × 8 inches
© Karen Kilimnik Courtesy the artist, Sprüth Magers and Galerie Eva Presenhuber

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Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 1

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 2

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 3

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 4

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 5

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 6

Spruth Magers London Karen Kilimnik 7

For more than forty years, Kilimnik has navigated an inexhaustible cosmos influenced by the traditions of Romantic painting, portraiture, and landscape painting. Her work gives equal weight to a broad array of subject matter, finding inspiration in such diverse sources as popular culture and fairy tales, Old Master paintings and television programmes, films, literature, magazines, advertising, as well as window displays. The result dissolves the distinctions between “high” and “low” culture. This creative mixture appears in some of Kilimnik’s earliest output: after studying art and architecture in Philadelphia, the artist exhibited a series of genre-bending constellations in the mid -1980s and early 1990s; assembled works included paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, and films. Her oeuvre explores themes of mythology and femininity, history and fiction.

Especially Kilimnik’s drawings and collages often emerge from general observation and contemplation. Exemplifying that approach is a drawing of a red sports car from the year 1979, car rally Avengers £50,000 breakfast, vrrooomm!: inspired by the 1960s British TV series The Avengers – a recurring motif that appears in a number of other works as well – it shows the vehicle speeding past forests, a person wearing black leather gloves at the wheel. The piece depicts a particular scene from the series involving a car rally; it finds Kilimnik, whose juvenile career considerations included becoming a race car driver, drawing imagery from the world of popular culture.

The accompanying exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in New York runs from April 30 to June 18, 2022. A catalogue published by Edition Patrick Frey coincides with both exhibitions.

Karen Kilimnik was born in Philadelphia in 1955, where she lives and works. Her work has featured at major museums worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. Important solo exhibitions have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2012); Belvedere, Vienna (2010); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and Le Consortium, Dijon (all 2007); Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, Venice (2005); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2002). Selected group exhibitions include, among others, those at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; MoMA PS1, New York (both 2006); MoMA, New York (2005, 2001, 1999); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1997, 1992); and Secession, Vienna (1994). In 2011, Kilimnik designed backdrops for Psyche, a ballet at Opéra national de Paris.

Karen Kilimnik, Early Drawings 1976–1998, Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, April 8–May 21, 2022. Photo: Ben Westoby


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