One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor
New York, 19 East 66th Street
With his new exhibition Kunath carries on his study of human condition—an exploration in happiness and sadness, romanticism, nostalgia, longing, the fetish of authenticity, and the myth of genius. This exhibition negotiates the facets of personal experience registered on a psycho-emotional pendulum that swings between the search for deep existential meaning and purpose, and a frenetic, nonsensical and humorous nihilism. Here, two distinct groups of paintings, divided by a floor/ceiling, function as equal instruments in Kunath’s current exercise of distilling emotion from quotidian transactions. The works hanging on the upper level are executed with the precision of airbrush and a formalized, preconceived design, representing a measured and intentional approach to Kunath’s artistic output. These compositions were created in pairs, all set to seascapes of varying tonalities.
A floor below, heavily impastoed oil paintings thread together excavated impulses and subconscious narratives drawn from months spent developing each work. In contrast to the airbrushed works from the floor above, Kunath relinquishes control and allows the painting to unfold through a process of automatism. A final component, cartoonish personalities step out of the canvases actualized here as small bronze sculptures.
In conjunction with this exhibition, a new major monograph devoted to the last fifteen years of Kunath’s work will be released by Rizzoli Electa. Entitled I Don’t Worry Anymore, this book offers new insights into the artist’s work across media, organized conceptually rather than chronologically in eight chapters.
Exhibition is on view until December 22, 2018
Friedrich Kunath (b. 1974, Chemnitz, Germany) lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited widely and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including: Juckreiz, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Germany (2016); A Plan to Follow Summer Around the World, Centre d’art Contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, France (2014); Raymond Moody's Blues, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (2013); Your Life is Not for You, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2012); Lonely Are the Free, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany (2011); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010); Kunstsaele, Berlin (2010); 7 x 14, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (2009); and Home Wasn't Built in a Day, Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2009). His work is also featured in prominent public and private collections such as the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Centre Pompidou, Paris; DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pinault Collection, Paris; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, among many more.