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Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ Ocula Conversation Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ By Jareh Das, New York

Cinga Samson 's paintings lay bare the complex relationship between contemporary life, African traditions, globalisation, and representation. His strikingly sombre portraits contain similarities to those of contemporary painters such as Toyin Ojih Odutola, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye , Kehinde Wiley , Florine Démosthène, and Tunji...

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Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See Ocula Report Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See By Casey Carsel, New York

After structural issues forced The Armory Show into last-minute relocation pirouettes last year, the fair returns between 5 and 8 March 2020 with a flourishing programme, complemented by stand-out shows across New York City.

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Danh Vo at Winsing Art Place, Taipei: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight
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Danh Vo at Winsing Art Place, Taipei: Exhibition Walkthrough

At the freshly opened Winsing Art Place in Taipei, works by Vietnamese-Danish artist Danh Vo are being presented in Taiwan for the first time. In this video, the founder of Winsing Arts Foundation, Jenny Yeh, introduces Vo's exhibition.

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b. 1954, Germany

Karen Knorr Biography

Born in 1954 in Frankfurt but raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Karen Knorr is a London-based artist who uses digital photography and moving image to create conceptual and multidisciplinary works. These works feature opulent interiors while critically and playfully investigating issues of cultural heritage, colonialism, class, and gender power structures. She has a BA Hons from the Polytechnic of Central London (1977–1980) and an MA from the University of Derby (1988–1990).

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Knorr's earlier works lean towards social documentary. For example, 'Belgravia' (1979–1981) is a series of black-and-white photographs of the British upper classes in stiff or contrived poses in upper-class residences during the early Thatcher years. Her 'Gentlemen' series (1981–1983)—also black-and-white photographs—depict English gentlemen's clubs in Saint James', London, problematising gender and class divides. 'Country Life' (1983–1985) takes on the landed gentry class in their countryside surroundings and the manner in which objects fulfil class destiny. In all three series, her humorous and satirical texts accompany but do not illustrate the works, raising questions about the lifestyle, aspirations, and values of the British upper classes.

Knorr turned to colour photography in 1986 with 'Connoisseurs' (1986–1990), using Cibachrome to saturate and vivify the hues in her photographs of the interiors of homes and museums. Incongruous objects and comical subject poses were staged and photographed in these analogue prints to destabilise notions of connoisseurship, aestheticism, and beauty embedded within heritage culture. 'Academies' (1994–2005) continued the artist's investigation into museum spaces and fine art academies in Europe, reflecting a deeper theoretical and critical engagement with how Western fine art becomes institutionalised. With 'Fables' (2003–2008), she fused analogue and digital photography; digital photographs she took of live and taxidermied animals were collaged onto her analogue photographs of the lavish aristocratic interiors of castles, villas, and museums, injecting a sense of the surreal and uncanny.

Knorr cites her 'India Song' series (2008–2017) as a turning point. For the series, the sumptuous interiors of palaces and holy sites in Rajasthan were photographed with a large-format Sinar p3 analogue camera, and digital photographs of animals such as peacocks and monkeys were subsequently painstakingly Photoshopped in, to index the Panchatantra—a collection of Sanskrit animal fables—and to challenge fixed notions of Indian cultural heritage, caste, and gendered spaces. Inspired by screen paintings from the Edo period (1603–1867), her 'Monogatari' series (2012–2017) portrayed the animals often featured on these screens within Japanese shrines, temples, and ryokans, referencing Japanese, Taoist, and Buddhist folktales. 'Metamorphoses' (2014–2018) continues her multidisciplinary explorations of heritage interiors, visual culture, literary frameworks, and social hierarchies.

Knorr won the Pilar Citoler International Biennial Prize for Contemporary Photography in 2011, and in 2018, she was one of six leading photographers awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal Photographic Society. She currently teaches photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. She has presented solo shows at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India Song, 2017); Musée Carnavalet, Paris (Fables, 2010); and Shanghai Centre of Photography (with Anna Fox, Another Way of Telling, 2018), among others, and participated in many international group exhibitions. Her works are included in the collections of major museums such as Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.

Elaine Chiew | Ocula | 2019

Karen Knorr Featured Artworks

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The Wedding Guests, Belgravia Room by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrThe Wedding Guests, Belgravia Room, 2015Colour pigment print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper
121.9 x 152.4 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Enquire about this work
Immaculate Conception, Villa D’Este by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrImmaculate Conception, Villa D’Este, 2015Colour pigment print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper
80 x 100 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Enquire about this work
Brief Encounter, Palazzina Cinese by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrBrief Encounter, Palazzina Cinese, 2018Colour pigment print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Enquire about this work
The Search for Sattva, Ahhichatragarh Fort, Nagaur by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrThe Search for Sattva, Ahhichatragarh Fort, Nagaur, 2014Colour pigment print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper
122 x 152 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Enquire about this work
A good Mother puts by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrA good Mother puts, 1979–1981Silver bromide print
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire about this work
I am part of a group by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrI am part of a group, 1979–1981Silver bromide print
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire about this work
I wouldn’t vote by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrI wouldn’t vote, 1979–1981Silver bromide print
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire about this work
Belgravia by Karen Knorr contemporary artwork
Karen KnorrBelgravia, 1979–1981Silver bromide print
40.6 x 50.8 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire about this work

Karen Knorr Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Karen Knorr, Migrations at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore
Closed
21 September–16 November 2019 Karen Knorr Migrations Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 at Sprüth Magers, London
Closed
24 July–14 September 2019 Group Exhibition New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 Sprüth Magers, London

Karen Knorr Represented By

Karen Knorr In Related Press

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Singapore: Karen Knorr’s exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery pays an ode to majestic India Related Press Singapore: Karen Knorr’s exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery pays an ode to majestic India 26 August 2019, Architectural Digest

American/British photographer Karen Knorr has over the years developed a critical and playful dialogue with photography. From investigating patriarchal values of the English upper classes to the role of animals and their representation in art, ...

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LIFE & CULTURE The Story Behind Karen Knorr’s Riotous 1970s Series, Punks Related Press LIFE & CULTURE The Story Behind Karen Knorr’s Riotous 1970s Series, Punks 30 July 2019, Another Man

Karen Knorr was born in Germany to American parents and grew up in Puerto Rico, before studying in Paris and then moving to London. 'Here I was, this Puerto Rican American, and I was trying to understand British culture,' says Knorr over the phone from Washington DC, though she has been based in London since the 1970s. 'I did it through...

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Research In Progress: A Q&A with Karen Knorr Related Press Research In Progress: A Q&A with Karen Knorr 15 July 2019, Frontrunner Magazine

Born in Frankfurt, Karen Knorr (currently a Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, UK) was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and then pursued her education in the United States, the UK, and across Europe, cultivating a dual perspective that would underscore her work. Having started her own 'movement,'...

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Gentlemen by Karen Knorr review – eminently clubbable Related Press Gentlemen by Karen Knorr review – eminently clubbable 31 October 2016, The Guardian

The trappings of inherited wealth and privilege, alongside the invisible, but strictly defined codes of the British class system, have long provided fertile raw material for photographers.

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Karen Knorr In Video & Audio

Sofa Sessions: Conversations with Martin Parr - Karen Knorr Related Video & Audio Sofa Sessions: Conversations with Martin Parr - Karen Knorr 6 August 2019, Martin Parr Foundation

Photographer Karen Knorr joins Martin Parr for the sixth instalment of 'Sofa Sessions: Conversations with Martin Parr'. They discuss her educational background, approach to the use of text with image and having to become a wildlife photographer.

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