The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
presents Silke Otto-Knapp: A light in the moon / MATRIX 239, the London-based German artists first solo museum show in the United States. The exhibition highlights Otto-Knapps watercolor paintings, which focus on the visibility of motion in the pictorial frame.
For the past several years, Otto-Knapp has been investigating the possibilities inherent in watercolor: repeatedly washing down her images and reworking them layer by layer to create images of great translucency and delicacy. Inspired by the choreography of Bronislava Nijinska, George Balanchine, and American avant-garde dancer Yvonne Rainer, her unusual technique creates translucent ethereal surfaces, capturing the transient nature of dance. The effect, which art critic Jan Verwoert refers to as the threshold moments of motions, perfectly complements the beauty of choreographed movement. Her application of silver pigment serves to echo the shiny seduction of Pop materiality and to veil, or curtain, the represented image. Appropriating famous photographs from contemporary choreography, she stages them within, and behind, this ethereal pigment.
Born in 1970 in Osnabrück, Germany, Silke Otto-Knapp has been based in London since 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at Sadlers Wells, London; Kunstverein Munich; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; Modern Art Oxford; Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna; and the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf. She has recently participated in group exhibitions at the Tate Britain, London; Wiels, Brussels; The Artists Institute, New York; Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Kunsthall, Oslo; Castillo/Coralles, Paris; Migros Museum, Zurich; and the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven. She was also included in the British Art Show 6 at the BALTIC Centre, Gateshead, and the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, both in 2005. She holds a degree in cultural studies from the University of Hildesheim and a master of arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.