Karin Kneffel, Untitled, 2016, oil on canvas, 70 7/8 × 94 1/2 inches (180 × 240 cm) © Karin Kneffel. Photo by Achim Kukulies
Karin Kneffel’s lush and eloquent pictures are perfectly constructed impossibilities—collapsing heterogeneous places and incidents in a flawlessly executed, seductively realist manner. Although many of her sources actually exist, the resulting images are cunningly wrought scenes inspired by the many lives of art, and which highlight painting's unique ability to simultaneously uphold and destroy illusions.
Karin Kneffel was born in 1957 in Marl, Germany. From 1981 to 1987, she studied at Westphalian Wilhelm University, Germany, and Comprehensive University of Duisburg, Germany. From 1981 to 1987, she studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Germany. She was a visiting professor at the University of the Arts, Germany, in 1998, and at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavik, in 2000. From 2000 to 2008, Kneffel was a professor at the University of the Arts, Germany, and in 2008, she was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum Jean de La Fontaine, France (1999); Monks House-Museum of Modern Art, Germany (2006); Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne (2008); Haus Esters, Germany (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (2010); Museo De Arte Contemporáneo, Spain (2014); Barcelona Pavilion, Spain (2014); “Fallstudien,” Kathe Kollwitz Museum, Germany (2015); “Works on Paper,” Kunsthalle Bremerhaven, Germany (2015); and “Bild im Bild,” Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2017).
Kneffel currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.