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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Karen Kilimnik

b. 1955, USA

Karen Kilimnik draws parallel references between historic works from the 16th century and contemporary consumer culture. She unearths romantic traditions, creating imaginative paintings, drawings, photographs and installations that span interests as diverse as animals, childhood, ballet, fashion, witchcraft, famous films, literature, landscape and dreams.

Kilimnik is known to be a recluse. Instead of manoeuvring the social pressures that come with life in a large city, she chooses to remain in her hometown of Philadelphia, where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984 at Temple University.

While Kilimnik works across a variety of media, her style does not remain singular. Through photography she is known to explore the natural world, focusing on landscapes and animals. Her traditional oil paintings, on the other hand, reflect her interest in the past. These paintings are often assemblages of loose brushstrokes and feature uncanny portraits of iconic figures, cut out from a scene in a film or appropriated from a famous painting. 

Kilimnik is also known to produce oil landscape paintings or set-ups of architectural interiors such as Leonardo Da Vinci's Living Room, Amboise 1500 (2014). A mise-en-scène approach is used in her assemblage sculpture as well, where she brings seemingly random items from popular culture together in one space. These installations often mimic stately homes or palatial architecture. Part of the 1990s ‘scatter movement’, the pieces of detritus included in these installations—photocopies, pieces of fabric, drawings, furniture and mirrors—brought Kilimnik fame in the 1980s and 1990s.  

Kilimnik's work is known for its whimsical approach. However, this approach is mixed with sharp and relevant themes including feminism, psychology and identity. Blurring glamour and kitsch, and bordering on the unsettling, Kilimnik’s works have been the subject of numerous solo shows in countries such as France and Ireland, and cities such as Philadelphia, Zurich, London and New York. 

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Heathers by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikHeathers, 1992–1993 Single-channel video; 6 hour DVD
Sprüth Magers
Untitled by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikUntitled, 2019 Acrylic and plastic crystals on unstretched canvas
76.2 x 76.2 cm
Sprüth Magers
Untitled by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikUntitled, 2019 Acrylic on unstreched canvas
130.8 x 151.1 cm
Sprüth Magers
Untitled by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikUntitled, 2019 Acrylic on unstreched canvas
139.7 x 152.4 cm
Sprüth Magers
Untitled by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikUntitled, 2019 Acrylic on unstreched canvas
151.4 x 163.8 cm
Sprüth Magers
Nice--and--...introducing Tabitha by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikNice--and--...introducing Tabitha, 1991 Single-channel video (colour, sound); 7 min 47 sec
303 Gallery
Jane Creep (Pyrannah) by Karen Kilimnik contemporary artwork
Karen KilimnikJane Creep (Pyrannah), 1990 Crayon on paper
30.5 x 38.1 cm
303 Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Karen Kilimnik, Karen Kilimnik at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
Open Now
12 September–26 October 2019 Karen Kilimnik Karen Kilimnik Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Karen Kilimnik, Karen Kilimnik at 303 Gallery, New York
Upcoming
1 November–20 December 2019 Karen Kilimnik Karen Kilimnik 303 Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 303 Gallery: 35 Years at 303 Gallery, New York
Closed
18 July–16 August 2019 Group Exhibition 303 Gallery: 35 Years 303 Gallery, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

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Private Territories: Room and House Work Related Press Private Territories: Room and House Work The Quietus : 2 March 2017

In The Poetics of Space, first translated into English in 1964, Gaston Bachelard wrote: 'a house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.' This seminal phenomenological study investigates the significance of intimate spaces which govern our dreams and emotions. Bachelard scrutinises the rooms...

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The two Frieze fairs in London: One for billionaires, one for up-and-coming art Related Press The two Frieze fairs in London: One for billionaires, one for up-and-coming art Whitewall Magazine : 10 October 2016

In same the week as the two Frieze fairs are taking place, no fewer than three separate French galleries launch in London. Almine Rech, who already owns galleries in Paris, Brussels and London, has opened her second, large space (500 square-meters) in the British capital. “Collectors here are more active than in Paris,” she commented....

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Unmissable highlights at Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2016 Related Press Unmissable highlights at Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2016 The Telegraph : 8 October 2016

It may be devoted to the very latest in contemporary art, but there’s also more than a whiff of nostalgia at this year’s Frieze London which breaks new ground by devoting an entire section to the Nineties – a time which still seems really quite recent to some of us. Channelling the  collegiate spirit of an era when artists,...

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Frieze's Abby Bangser on the 2016 edition of the London fairs Related Press Frieze's Abby Bangser on the 2016 edition of the London fairs Whitewall : 6 October 2016

Joining Frieze in January 2015 as the Artistic Director for the Americas and Asia, Abby Bangser has brought over 10 years of experience in the art industry (at institutions like the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California) to assist in the global success of the fairs, particularly with...

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