Otto-Knapp, Silke Normalbühne (after Schwitters), 2017
Wasserfarbe auf Leinwand unframed , 160 x 180 cm Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York Photo: Jens Ziehe

About the work

Otto-Knapp's stage designs refer to historical contexts to which they are committed in form and content. This is the case here in "Normalbühne", which refers to Schwitters' comprehensive theory of stage design.

Painterly, these are traces - fleeting layers of paint laid on top of each other - each of which, taken individually, is barely comprehensible, yet perceived as a whole, a concrete picture develops, an interplay that works in itself and against itself, placing surfaces against and on top of each other, thus creating a great tension between motif and picture surface.  


About the artist

Silke Otto-Knapp

born 1970 in Osnabrück
lives and works in Los Angeles - USA

Silke Otto-Knapp studied Cultural Studies at the University of Hildesheim and graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. She taught at the University of Fine Arts Vienna. Since the beginning of 2014, the artist lives and works in Los Angeles, where she teaches at UCLA.

Otto-Knapp works with the medium of watercolor painting on canvas. All her works are in black and white. In contrast to traditional watercolor painting, Silke Otto-Knapp applies layers of watercolor, which she washes off again and again, so that each application of color remains only as an idea, as an elusive surface of color. Countless layers create a contradictory pictorial space that combines surfaces, depth, proximity and distance, abstraction and representation.

As pictorial themes in Silke Otto-Knapp's paintings, one encounters landscapes as well as stage sets that refer to historical documentations and theoretical writings on dance performances and stage sets.