Karin Kneffel. In the Picture

29 May – 3 October 2022

Karin Kneffel (*1957) – a master pupil of Gerhard Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf – focusses on the ‘Haus Lange’ and the ‘Haus Esters’ in Krefeld, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the late 1920s, in a series of paintings and watercolours that she created over a period of more than ten years. Kneffel traces the path of the paintings and sculptures in Hermann Lange’s important art collection, from his house to the museums where most of these works are to be found today. In the process, she obscures the situations depicted in her pictures: is this as it is today or in the past; is this reality or fiction, asks the irritated viewer whose view of unknown rooms is blurred by panes that have misted over or are covered with raindrops. The trompe l’œil effect in Kneffel’s illusionistic paintings creates a boundary between the past and the present. It makes us aware that the works from the Lange Collection have a history that can be read in the paintings, over and above their radiant presence in museums today. After being removed from Herrmann Lange’s private house August Macke’s Große Promenade and Wassily Kandinsky’s Improvisation 21, for example, hung in a variety of different rooms in museums before their provisional “arrival” at the Franz Marc Museum.
In addition to more than thirty paintings by Karin Kneffel the exhibition includes works of Classical Modernism – paintings by Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Macke and Kirchner that, in turn, can also be discovered in Kneffel’s paintings.