Past Exhibition

  • Karen Kilimnik

Karen Kilimnik

Greenwich, CT May 6th to October 1st, 2012

Karen Kilimnik

The Brant Foundation is pleased to present a major exhibition of works by Karen Kilimnik opening on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The exhibition will include installation, paintings, photographs and drawings from the years 1982 – 2012. These works reference subjects as seemingly disparate as witchcraft, Napoleon, World War II, set design, the solar system, magic and equestrian themes. The exhibition continues through September 2012.

This presentation of Kilimnik’s work permits a rigorous consideration of her practice through a combinative display of new work, historical retrospective and re-interpretation afforded by the Brant Foundation Art Study Center’s dynamic space and country idyll. The artist seizes the opportunity to reanimate some of her most iconic works by exhibiting them in newly realized forms, resulting in an application of her uniquely refracted perspective to the exhibition space and the works on display.

In the upper gallery, Kilimnik will present a new installation, Fountain of Youth, which consists of six feet of boxwood hedges, grass, ivy and a stone garden fountain and glass perfume bottles. The lower gallery includes a chinoiserie themed installation where early drawings will hang with custom wallpaper, furniture, garden seats, fans and lanterns.

Kilimnik will also exhibit her influential 1989 installation The Hellfire Club episode of the Avengers. A mise-en-scene, based on the 1960s British television series The Avengers, is an installation arrangement of xeroxes, photographs and props framed by velvet curtains and two impenetrably black drawings of British manor houses. Several nearly life-size photocopies of the stars of The Avengers (Emma Peel and John Steed) are part of the tableau, as if bringing the episode to life. Gold frames, mirrors, cobwebs, swords, an ax; these elements combine with a pea, The Beatles, and other stereotypically British imagery, forming the artist’s own portrait of the artificially exaggerated tenets that made the television show so engaging. The Avengers’ soundtrack is similarly collaged to reflect the show’s feeling, using edited snippets of Haydn, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, the Surfin’ Safaris, Madonna, Arthur Brown, the Rolling Stones and incidental sounds of clinking chandelier crystals.

A major focus for Kilimnik is the blending of real and imagined portraiture. In her iconic paintings, modern pop-cultural icons are inserted into composed historical overtures, resulting in an enchanted kind of unreality. Kilimnik traffics in the creation of reciprocal allegories, whereby the malleable personas of her actors are subjected to perpetually reversing roles. Becoming illustrations for the cloudy vagueness of a romanticized past, the role of the human subject is  diminished, drawing attention to the fabricated nature of time and place in the creation of her arcane historical scenarios. Early drawings and self-portrait photographs with references to modeling, fashion advertisements and the cult of celebrity reinforce these preoccupations with the fluid nature of identity. Kilimnik’s connection to the resonant psychological power of ornamental objects and words is an undercurrent throughout these works, as we find snippets of abandoned flowers, ribbons, patches of sky or chunks of slogans inserted wholesale into various pieces of her oeuvre.

 

Artist Biography

Karen Kilimnik

Karen Kilimnik

Born 1955, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lives and works in Philadelphia.

Karen Kilimnik graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1984.

Drawing correspondences between romantic tradition and consumer culture, Karen Kilimnik’s work brings a haunting and contrary sense of beauty to contemporary art. The world of the ballet and childhood, romantic painting and pop music, icons of film and fashion, signs of witchcraft, time-travel, and murder comprise an imagery that has been culled from the historic and recent past into an unsettling present. In a world where the forces of nature, youth, and terror have taken awesome hold, Kilimnik’s art rematerializes a quest for the romantic sublime.

SOLO

2016

303 Gallery, New York, Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France, presented by Le Consortium, Dijon

2015

Sprüth Magers, London, UK

2014

“Psyche” at Opera National de Paris / Opera Garnier, ParisSprüth Magers, Berlin, Germany

2013

Cuverie du Prince de Conti, Vosne Romanée, France, presented by Le Consortium, DijonCuverie du Pince de Conti Romane Conti/Consortium, Dijon, FranceGalerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland

2012

Karen Kilimnik & Kim Gordon, 303 Gallery, New York, NY"Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik's World of Ballet and Theatre", Mills CollegeArt Museum, Oakland, CAThe Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT

2011

303 Gallery, New York“Psyche”, Opera National de Paris / Opera Garnier, Paris

2010

II Capricorno, Venice, ItalyJoseph Cornell Karen Kilimnik, Curated by Todd Levin, Spruh Magers, London“Intervention”, Osterreichischle Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

2009

“Made in Naples”, Festival, Karole Armitage Ballet Company, Naples

2008

303 Gallery, New YorkEva Presenhuber, Zurich“Heathers”, Philomene Magers, Berlin“Karen Kilimnik” MCA Museum of contemporary art, Chicago

2007

"Karen Kilimnik", Powel House Museum, Philadelphia"Karen Kilimnik", Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; MOCA MiamiSerpentine Gallery, LondonLe Consortium, Dijon, FranceSpruth Magers, LondonSpruth Magers, Cologne“Karen Kilimnik” Aspen Art Museum, Aspen

2006

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris303 Gallery, New York

2005

Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, VeniceHistorisches Museum Basel, Haus Zum Kirschgarten, Basel

2004

Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland“Hayden-Zimmer, Salzburg” Galerie Spruth/Magers, Munich, Germany

2003

Galerie Sprüth/Magers, Munich, Germany

2002

“Fairy Battle”, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, IrelandIl Capricorno, Venice, ItalyGalerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland303 Gallery, New YorkLuxe Gallery, New York

2001

Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, Japan303 Gallery, New York, NY

2000

Emily Tsingou Gallery, London, U.K.Galerie Sprüth/Magers, Munich, GermanyBonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany South London Gallery, London, U.K.Kunstverein Wolfsburg e. V. Wolfsburg, GermanyGalerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich, SwitzerlandNassau County Museum of Art, NY“Drawing on the figure” MCA-Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

1999

Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Athens, GreeceGallery Side 2, Tokyo, Japan303 Gallery, New York, NYGalerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France

1998

H & R Projects, Brussels, BelgiumEmily Tsingou Gallery, London, EnglandGalerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France“Hungry ghosts”, The Douglas Hyde Gallery Kunsthalle, Zurich“Belladonna”, ICA, London

1997

303 Gallery, New York, NYKunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland

1996

Galleria Il Capricorno, Venice, ItalyRebecca M. Camhi Gallery, Athens, GreeceTransmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland

1995

303 Gallery, New York, NYJack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, CACenter for Contemporary Gravure, GenevaGalerie Walcheturm, Zurich, SwitzerlandGalerie Jennifer Flay, Paris, FranceGalerie Metropol, Vienna, AustriaYnglingagatan 1, Stockholm, Sweden

1994

White Cube, London, UKGalleria Il Capricorno, Venice, ItalyModulo Centro Difusor de Arte, Lisboa, PortugalCarmago Villaqua, Sao Paulo“Reflex”, Wiener Secession, ViennaGalerie Sylvia Lorenz, Paris

1993

303 Gallery, New York, NYGalerie Marc Jancou, Zurich, SwitzerlandStudio Lapeyre, Milan, Italy

1992

“Escape in Time,” Institute of Contemporary Art, PhiladelphiaGalerie Jennifer Flay, Paris, FranceGalerie Esther Schipper, Koln, GermanyGalerie Gisela Capitain, Koln, GermanyGalerie Ballgasse, Wein, Austria

1991

303 Gallery, New York, NY

GROUP

2016

"Home", Luma Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland

“GVA < - > JFK”, MAMCO, Geneva

2015

“Unrealism”, curated by Jeffery Deitch and Larry Gagosian, Moore Building, Miami

“America is Hard to See”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

“Works On Paper”, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland

“No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL

2013

“1984-1999. The Decade” Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France

“Station to station”, New-York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, Winslow, Barstow, Los Angeles, Aokland/San Fransisco

"Miss Dior", Grand Palais, Paris

"The Time is Now", John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco

"On Cuteness", Halle für Kunst, Lüneberg, Germany

2012

"A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance", Tate Modern, London

Decorative Art Museum of Paris, Paris, France

"Looking Back for the Future", Kunsthalle, Zurich

2011

“Sculpture Now”, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

2010

“How soon now”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami

“Fritto Misto”, Tanja Pol Galerie, Munich

“Picture Industry (goodbye to all that)”, organized by Walead Beshty, Regen Project, Los Angeles, California

”Black Swan" Regen Projects II, Los Angeles, California

“Ordinary Madness”, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

2009

"Pretty Ugly", Maccarone Gallery, New York

"Implant", UBS Art Gallery, New York

2008

"We are Stardust, We are Golden", Johnen + Schöttle Since 1984", Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne, Germany

2008 Whitney Biennial exhibition, Whitney Museum, New York

"Order, Desire, Light", Irish Museum of Art, Dublin

"Mysteries: Magic and Deception in Contemporary Art", Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco

“Faces and Figures (Revisited)”, Mac Jancou Contemporary, New York

“Menagerie: Animals & Nature”, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York

2007

“The Incomplete,” Chelsea Art Museum, New York

“Old School”, Hauser and Wirth Colnaghi, London

"The Third Mind", curated by Ugo Rondinone, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

2006

"Face to Face", Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst Münster, Germany

"The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoise", VanAbbemuseum, Einhoven, Netherlands

"Sweets & Beauties", Fredericks & Freiser, New York

"Defamation of Character", PS1, New York

2005

"Drawing from the Modern 1975-2005", Museum of Modern Art, New York

"Ideal Worlds: New Romanticism in Contemporary Art", Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany

"Beauty of the Painting", Stådische Galerie Delmenhorst, Germany

2004

“Beauty Matter”, Tina Kim Fine Art, New York

“American Idyll”, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York

“Now Is a Good Time”, curated by Dean Valentine, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

"I Was in the House When the House Burned Down", Fredericks & Freiser, New York

“The Big Nothing”, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA

“9 Mutter XX04”, The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2003

"Never mind your step", Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal/Basel

“girls don’t cry”, curated by Hiromi Kitazawa, Parco Museum, Japan

“The 20th Anniversary Show”, Monika Spruth – Philomene Magers, Munich, Germany

2002

“Go Figure”, curated by Michael Steinberg and Stefan Stoyanov, Luxe Gallery, New York

“Cassatt, Neel, Kilimnik; Painted Faces”, curated by Lisa Melandri, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA

“Reflexions”, curated by Monika Sprüth, Philomene Managers,
Munich, Germany

2001

“The Mystery of Painting”, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany

“Conceptual Realism”, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts,
Philadelphia, PA

“Works on Paper From Acconci to Zittel”, Victoria Miro Gallery, London, U.K.

“Collaboration With Parkett: 1984 to NOW”, Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Drawing on the Figure: Works on Paper of the 1990’s from the Manilow Collection”, curated by Staci Boris, MoCA Chicago

2000

Emily Tsiongou Gallery, London, UK

“Drawings 2000”, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

“Calendar 2000”, curated by Eileen Cohen and Amada Cruz, Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

“Presumed Innocent”, capcMusée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

1999

“Spellbound”, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

“Heaven”, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Germany

“Draw”, Emily Tsingou Gallery, London, England

“horseplay”, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

Panel Discussion, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

Kunstverein Gallery, Wolfsburg, Germany

“Fame After Photography”, Museum of Modern Art, NY

“Free Coke”, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, NY

"Cosmogram", Galleria Marabini, Bologna

"Accelerator", Arnolfini, Bristol

"Le Grand Praemiere Opening Show", Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen

"Draw", Emily Tsnigou Gallery, London

1998

“La nuit, L’oubli (en souvenir de Gilles Dusein), Musee d’art Moderne et contemporain, Geneva

“Roommates”, curated by Corinne Groot and Rob van de Ven, Museum van Loon, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Super Freaks”, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, NY

“Exterminating Angel”, curated by Joshua Decter, Galerie Ghislaine
Hussenot, Paris, France

“Tip of the Iceberg”, Dorfman Projects and Art Resources Transfer, New York

“Presumed Innocence”, curated by Jean Crutchfield, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, Virginia and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

“¿En qué estás pensando?” Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain

“The Sound of One Hand”, curated by Collier Schorr, Apex Art C.P., New York, NY

“drawings”, James Graham & Sons, New York, NY

“Hungry Ghosts”, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

“Minis, Midis & Maxis”, Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Kunstler Vararlbergs, Kunstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, Austria

“Surfing the Surface”, dfn gallery, New York, NY

“The Next Word”, curated by Johanna Drucker, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY

“Accelerator”, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, and Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK

“Critical Elegance”, Deurle, Gent, Brussels

"Deep Storage", Henry Art Gallery, Seattle

"I shop, therefore I am", Kunstverein in Hamburg

1997

"Belladonna", curated by Emma Dexter and Kate Bush, ICA, London

"Karen Kilimnik, Nicole Eisenman, Raymond Pettibon", Galerie Rudiger Schottle, Munich

“Art on Paper”, curated by Amy Cappellazzo, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina

“Landscape U.S.A.”, Bronwyn Keenan, New York

"DISPLAY". Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen

1996

"Karen Kilimnik and Yoshitomo Nara", Johnen & Schottle, Koln, Germany

"a/drift: Scenes From the Penetrable Culture", curated by Joshua Dector, Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College

"Nirvana: Capitalism and the Consumed Image', Center of Contemporary Art, Seattle, Washington

"Slight", Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art and Design, United Kingdom

"Ideal Standard Life", Spiral/Wacoal Art Center, Tokyo, Japan

"Baby Generation", Parco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

"Push-Ups", The Factory, Athens Fine Art School, Athens, Greece

"Currents in Contemporary Art", Christie's East, New York, New York

1995

"Autour de Roger Vivier", Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, France

"Saturday Night Fever", curated by Michael Cohen and Cathrine Liu, Tom Solomon's Garage, Los Angeles, CA

“Jahreswechsel”, Leccese-Spruth, Cologne

“Un monde chez soi”, Saint Gervais, Geneva

1994

"Snow Job", Forde, Geneva, Switzerland

Carmago Villaqua, Sao Paulo, Brazil

"Portraits", Janice Guy, New York, NY

"6th Semaine Internationale de Video", Geneva

"Desire", DIFFA, Visionaire, Charles Cowels Gallery, NY

"Face-Off, The Portrait in Recent Art", Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

"Hellraiser", Comune di Mote Carasso, Monte Carasso

1993

"Audience 0.01", curated by Helena Kontova, Flash Art Museum, Italy

“Die Neunziger/The Nineties”, curated by Martin Prinzhorn, Wiener Secession, Vienna

"Uber Leben", Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

"Restaurant", organized by Marc Jancou, La Bocca, 59 Monmartre, 75002, Paris

"The Art of Language", Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany

Bloom Gallery, curated by Corinne Groot, Amsterdam, Holland

Eau de Cologne 1983 - 1993", Galerie Monica Spruth, Koln, Germany

"Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?" Galerie Jennifer Flay, Paris, France

Galerie Walcheturm, Zurich, Switzerland

"Le Principe de Realite", Villa Arson, Nice, France

"Stoned", curated by Veralyn Behenna, Ruth Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

“Informationsdienst", Art Acker, Berlin, Germany

"Travelogue-Reisetagebuch", curated by Jackie McCallister, Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Wien, Vienna, Austria

"Spielholle", curated by Kasper Konig and Robert Fleck, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria, Galerie Sylvia Lorenz, Paris, France

"Privacy", curated by Gianni Romano, Documentario, Milano, Italy

"Whitney Biennial", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1992

"Spielholle", curated by Kasper Konig and Robert Fleck, Akadamie der Kunste
und Wissenschaften, Frankfurt, Germany

"Under 30", Galerie Metropol, Wein, Austria

"Through the Viewfinder", Stichting de Appel, Amsterdam, Holland

"Translation", curated by Kim Levin, Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland

"LifeSize", Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Prato, Italy

"Post-Human", curated by Jeffrey Deitch, FAE Musee D'Art Contemporain, Lausanne, Switzerland; Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'Arte, Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

"Tatoo Collection", Air de Paris, Paris, France

"Molteplici Culture", curated by Liam Gilllick, Rome, Italy

"True Stories", ICA, London, England

"Are You A Boy, or Are You A Girl?” curated by Cary Leibowitz, Real Artways, Hartford, CT

"The Real Thing", New York, NY

"Video project - 12 weeks, 12 artists", Dooley le Cappelaine, New York, NY

"Works on Paper", Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY

"New Work by Gallery Artists," 303 Gallery, New York, NY

“Small-Medium-Large Lifesize”, Museo d’arte contemporanea, Prato

"Karen Kilimnik, Raymond Pettibon, & Allen Ruppersberg," 303 Gallery, New York, NY

“Informationsdienst”, Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart

1991

"The Store," Richard/Bennett Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

"Gulliver's Travels," Galerie Sophia Ungers, Koln, Germany

"Home for June", Contemporary Theatre & Art, 44 Walker St, New York, NY

"No Man's Time", Villa Arson, Nice, France

"When Objects Dream And Talk In Their Sleep", Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY

"Karen Kilimnik, Liz Larner, Collier Schorr, Anne Walsh", Richard Kuhlenschmidt Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

"Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?” curated by Dan Cameron, The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY

"Louder", curated by Kathryn Hixon, Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

"Plastic Fantastic Lover (object a)", curated by Catherine Liu, Blum Helman Warehouse, New York, NY

John Armleder Stand, Basel Art Fair, Switzerland

“Residue Politics", Beaver College Art Gallery, Glenside PA

Xmas Show, Air de Paris, Nice, France

1990

“Karen Kilimnik, Sue Williams, Gavin Brown”, 303 Gallery, New York, NY

"Stuttering,” curated by Vic Muniz, Stux Gallery, New York, NY

"Work in Progress? Work?," Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY

1989

American Fine Arts Co., New York, NY

Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY

1986

Nexus Foundation for Today's Art, Philadelphia, PA

Installation view

Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view

Sleeping Beauty + Friends

Co-choreographed with Tom Sapsford for a 2007 London performance, Sleeping Beauty + friends is the realization of artist Karen Kilimnik’s decades-long dream to choreograph a ballet. Her work combines altered excerpts from four 19th-century story ballets. The fifty-minute performance begins with the opening scene of the earliest ballet of the group, Bournonville’s La Sylphide (1836), whose principal’s more natural movements and soft, ankle-length tutu characterize romantic-era ballets. Wending its way through time and costume changes, the mélange ends with the grand finale of Petipa’s Don Quixote (1869). Sleeping Beauty is cheekily absent from the offerings, yet the virtuosic variations Kilimnik chose nod towards its famously difficult choreography. The videotape that the artist shot of the performance is delightfully idiosyncratic and amateurish. It counterpoints ballet’s perfectionism, while at the same time penetrating the core of its intense beauty and emotionalism.

Visit the de Young Website

Watch Now

Sleeping Beauty and friends, 2008

Karen Kilimnik
Sleeping Beauty and friends (installation), 2008
Three chairs, curtains, and DVD
37:10 minutes
Edition of 4
Courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

  • Installation view
  • Installation view (Detail)
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view, the sea sprites in the French Garden of Apollo, 1988
  • Installation view
wearing an emanuel ungaro black silk velvet out in gay paris, 1988 Bright Eyes, 1987
the royal Isabelle with fountain of youth food, on the set of Queen Margot, 1994 the blue enamel and gilt snuff box at the beach, on the Cote d' Azure, 1988
ses quatres restaurnats preferes. the air is fresh. in the french garden (secret code), 1989 New York Outfit I Want, 1990

The Sea Sprites in the French Garden of Apollo, 1988

Pastel on paper
35 x 23 inches
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Catnip, 1994-95
  • Death on Thursdays, 1989
  • door to the 17th century. Italy, 1985

Installation view

Photograph: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

Installation view Witchcraft, 1995
outerspace - the brightly lit planets, 2012 the galaxy belonging to King Midas, 2009
atmosphere above the planet Venus, 2008 the devils dining room, wychwood, gloucestershire, 2011

Installation view, Hail to the Guardians of the North, 2012

Mixed media
Dimensions variable
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)
  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)
  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)
  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)
  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)
  • Hail to the Guardians of the North (Detail)

Installation view

Photography: Laura Wilson
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • three little cherubs, 2004
  • the little bats - friends, 2004
  • the little rat trying to be a bat, 2004
  • Pans library in the woods, 2004

The Hellfire Club Episode of the Avengers, 1989

Mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

Installation view, The Hellfire Club episode of the Avengers, 1980 The Hellfire Club episode of the Avengers, 1980 (Detail)
The Hellfire Club episode of the Avengers, 1980 (Detail) Installation View
Hitler visiting the Paris Opera, Opera Garnier, June 1940, 2012 Hitler visiting the Paris Opera, Opera Garnier, June 1940, 2012

Installation view

Photography: Farzad Owrang

  • the imperial guard bussar toy soldier, 2006
  • Ian Playing Soldier, 1997
  • Princess Horse, 1982

Installation view, the debonair general's fancy tent, 2012

Mixed media
Dimensions variable
Photography: Laura Wilson
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Installation view, the debonair general's fancy tent, 2012 (Detail)
  • Installation view, the debonair general's fancy tent, 2012 (Detail)
  • Installation view, the debonair general's fancy tent, 2012
  • The Major Lieutenant, 2007
  • Janus. the cowgirl + the debonair general (Steed), 2006
  • Janus, Bismarck + Admiral Nelson (steed) all getting along swimmingly, (dress up cocktail party), 2010
  • the sparkly splendid Lippazanner at the battle of austerlitz, 2008

Gelsey Kirkland, 1988

C-Print
17 x 21 inches
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

Me as Chrysse Hynde, 1988 Me with Contact Lenses, 1988
Me as Isabelle Adjani on T.V. Denying She Has AIDS, 1988 My Nose Job to Look Like Brunette Model from 60s Who Was Sick, 1990
Me as Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet Before Horse Race, 1988 Me at Catholic School, 1988

Jane Creep (White Slavers), 1989

Crayon on paper
11 x 14 inches
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

Installation view, Fountain of Youth (cleanliness is next to godliness), 2012

Mixed media
Dimensions variable
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • The mirror King's Bagpuzzle House, 2003

A major focus for Kilimnik is the blending of real and imagined portraiture. In her iconic paintings, modern pop-cultural icons are inserted into composed historical overtures, resulting in an enchanted kind of unreality. Kilimnik traffics in the creation of reciprocal allegories, whereby the malleable personas of her actors are subjected to perpetually reversing roles. Becoming illustrations for the cloudy vagueness of a romanticized past, the role of the human subject is diminished, drawing attention to the fabricated nature of time and place in the creation of her arcane historical scenarios. Early drawings and self-portrait photographs with references to modeling, fashion advertisements and the cult of celebrity reinforce these preoccupations with the fluid nature of identity. Kilimnik's connection to the resonant psychological power of ornamental objects and words is an undercurrent throughout these works, as we find snippets of abandoned flowers, ribbons, patches of sky or chunks of slogans inserted wholesale into various pieces of her oeuvre.

  • Angel's Cousin from Blood on Satan's Claw MCMLXX, 1996
  • the castle great staircase, Scotland, 2007
  • Angel Blake Our Leader, Blood on Satan's Claw MCMLXX, 1996
  • the fairie Queen's sheep in the woods, 2012
  • pheasants + fairies in the field, 2010
  • the happy weeds + insects in the field on a summer day, 2008

  • Summer Zephyr, 2001
  • Installation View
  • Master Hare, 3rd Lord Grantham, 2011

Installation view, The "Who is killing the great chefs of Europe" bombe, 2008

Wood, MDF, polyurethane, plaster, paint
131 7/8 x 68 7/8 x 16 1/8 inches
Photography: Farzad Owrang
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

  • Pigeons practicing for their Esther Williams water ballet in Rittenhouse Square, 2012
  • the ocelot lost in hawaii, 2008
  • Pigeons practicing their Busby Berkley star routine in Rittenhouse Square, 2012

Installation view

Photography: Laura Wilson
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London

the goddess flora, 2009 Prince Albrecht at Home at the Castle on School Break, 1998
home of the dewdrop fairy, 1998 fairy battle, 2001
the fancy pretty farm - the happy cows grazing by the fountain, 2012 the merry sheep of olde England, 2012

  • Harry, 1995
  • Little Red Riding Hood Vampire, 2001
  • the counterfeiting society in the woods, 2010

the fountain in the 15th century, 2012

Stone fountain with wild flowers
Dimensions variable
Photography: Laura Wilson
Courtesy Karen Kilimnik, 303 Gallery, new York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Spruth Magers, Berlin, London