Susanne Knaack - "Like Nature"

27.09.2023 - 20.10.2023

Images of the Exhibition


We are pleased to present the first solo exhibition of the Berlin artist Susanne Knaack in our gallery in Landshut.

Susanne Knaack studied painting with Georg Baselitz at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin in the 1980s. As she says herself, she orientates herself on the concept of art and abstraction, but not on her teacher's neo-expressionist style of painting. Her orientation is towards the abstract expressionist painting style of the previous generation and their teacher.

Susanne Knaack was intensively influenced by Baselitz's conception of art, which detached the picture from the narrative and any pathos by turning it on its head. He was concerned with the organisation of colour and form on the picture surface and the detachment from the personal content of the picture. Created empty of content in this way, Baselitz's pictures are not narrative, but merely formal. Turning the motif upside down during the painting process abstracts the subject of the picture and presents it as pure form. This is exactly what Knaack does in her painting process, which she complicates further by setting the liquid colour on the canvas in motion and allowing her pictures to emerge from it. She limits herself to white and black acrylic paint and the resulting grey tones, giving her painting a pictorial aesthetic familiar from black and white photography.

The astonishing and captivating thing about Knaack's pictures is the seemingly almost photorealistic depiction of natural scenarios, especially seascapes and storm pictures. In other words, despite the total renunciation of any narrative and the purely formal way in which the pictures are created, the influence of which is very limited due to the way they were created, pictures are created that generate precisely these narratives and the depiction of natural scenarios in their natural pathos in the viewer's imagination. The viewer sees archetypal images that he knows, or thinks he knows, beyond any individual artistic authorship. Archetypal images that we humans carry within us and that belong to us from the very beginning. Her paintings are "like nature", as the artist herself says. And this term can even be interpreted in two ways. The artist not only creates seemingly realistic nature scenarios, but her pictures also emerge from nature itself.

The special thing about Susanne Knack's pictures is that, although she uses a visual language that is completely detached from narrative and formally largely undefined, she reaches the viewer with her own archetypal visual vocabulary and encourages them to take an intensive look at themselves in the world. We need such images to grasp the necessary transformation of today's civilisations and to understand that the processes are ultimately of a physical or geological nature and as such cannot be stopped, at most delayed. This in turn is brilliantly reflected in the consistently physically abstract production process of the pictures.

(Wolf Guenter Thiel)

Exhibition opening: 27.09.2023, 19.00 - 21.00 hrs

Exhibition duration: 27.09. - 20.10.2023