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Drawing correspondences between romantic tradition and contemporary culture, Karen Kilimnik's works realize a quest for a fairytale sublime. The diverse realms of history, architecture, art, fashion, film and television, music and ballet, animals and landscape, science and literature create an imagery that has been selected from stories both historic and fictional, bringing these observations into the present. In a world where the forces of nature have taken awesome hold, Kilimnik's work brings a haunting and contrary sense of beauty to contemporary art.

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Karen Kilimnik

the cat sitting in its favorite basket out in the blizzard, the Himalaya

2020

Water soluble oil color on canvas

8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4533

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Karen Kilimnik

the blue fairy's flute, bell + horn among the seaweed under the sea

2019

Water soluble oil color on canvas

12 x 8 inches (30.5 x 20.3 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4492

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the blue fairy's tambourine in the oak forest

2018

Water soluble oil color on canvas

12 x 8 inches (30.5 x 20.3 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4493

 

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"In Kilimnik’s realm, time, history, and images themselves are all fictions ready to be disrupted and replayed—and a sense of liberty is on display for the taking."

 

-Mira Dancy, excerpted from Best of 2016: The Artists' Artists, Artforum, December 2016.

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Karen Kilimnik

Fortune defeated by Moderation and Fortitude

2019

Collage on paper with acrylic, gesso, china marker, archival glue

20 1/4 x 28 1/2 inches (51.4 x 72.4 cm)

22 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches (57.2 x 72.4 cm) paper size

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4496

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the apothecary

2019

Collage on paper with tempera, gouache, gesso, china marker, archival glue

16 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (41.9 x 57.2 cm)

18 1/8 x 24 inches (46 x 61 cm) paper size

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4500

 

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“Collage is the cut-and-paste of modern art, the copy-and-drag of the digital everyday, and Kilimnik deploys it in a spectrum of ways. She transforms animals and architecture into dramatic subjects... to create a real world of artifice and illusion.”

 

-Ingrid Schaffner, excepted from “Karen Kilimnik,” in Carnegie International 57th Edition 2018: The Guide, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2018.

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Karen Kilimnik

the bird catchers

2020

Collage on paper with acrylic, tempera, gouache, gesso, archival glue

17 x 22 1/2 inches (43.2 x 57.2 cm)

18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm) paper size

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4501

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the heron hunt

2019

Collage on paper with archival glue

20 1/2 x 26 1/4 inches (52.1 x 66.7 cm)

22 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches (57.2 x 72.4 cm) paper size

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4502

 

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Karen Kilimnik

scallop of the sea - the island

2018

Water soluble oil color on canvas

10 inches (25.4 cm) diameter

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4406

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the scallop shell island at dusk

2018

Water soluble oil color on canvas

10 inches (25.4 cm) diameter

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4407

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the royal british empire world with the royal loch ness sea monsters

2019

Acrylic and gouache on canvas

53 x 56 3/4 inches (134.6 x 144.1 cm)

Signed, dated verso

KK 4482

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the royal british empire world with the royal loch ness sea monsters

2019

Acrylic and gouache on canvas

53 x 56 3/4 inches (134.6 x 144.1 cm)

Signed, dated verso

KK 4482

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the fairy ship

2016

Wood ship, gems, archival glue

12 1/2 x 14 x 3 inches (31.8 x 35.6 x 7.6 cm)

KK 4273

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the fairy ship

2016

Wood ship, gems, archival glue

12 1/2 x 14 x 3 inches (31.8 x 35.6 x 7.6 cm)

KK 4273

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the fairy ship

2016

Wood ship, gems, archival glue

12 1/2 x 14 x 3 inches (31.8 x 35.6 x 7.6 cm)

KK 4273

 

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Installation view: Château De Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, October 22 – 30, 2016

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Karen Kilimnik

the generals meeting, campaign tent, crossing the Alps

2016

Collage on paper

7 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (18.4 x 27.3 cm)

13 3/4 x 16 1/8 inches (34.9 x 41 cm) framed

Signed, titled, and dated verso

KK 4267

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the campaign tent in Russia

2016

Collage on paper

7 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (18.4 x 27.3 cm)

Signed, titled, and dated verso

KK 4268

 

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Content

Karen Kilimnik

the lookout at the grove of the gods

2019

Water soluble oil color and acrylic on canvas

8 x 12 inches (20.3 x 30.5 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4485

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the mimosa tree in the garden of the gods

2019

Water soluble oil color on canvas

16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4487

 

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Karen Kilimnik

the mimosa tree in the garden of the gods

2019

Water soluble oil color on canvas

16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4487

 

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Content

Karen Kilimnik

a hazy rest under the tree, Federico Barocci, 1570, rest on the flight into Egypt, the old religion

2019

Water soluble oil color on canvas

10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

Signed, titled, dated verso

KK 4488

 

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Karen Kilimnik lives and works in Philadelphia. Recent major solo exhibitions dedicated to Kilmnik's work include Château De Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison (2016); Le Consortium, Dijon – La Romanée Conti (2014); Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich (2012); Belvedere, Vienna (2010); Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2006); Serpentine Gallery, London, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2007); Fondazione Belvilacqua La Masa, Venice (2005); and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2002). Major group exhibitions include Brant Foundation Art Study Center, New York (2019); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and MoMA PS1, New York (both 2006); MoMA, New York (2005, 2001, 1999); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1997, 1992); and Secession, Vienna (1994). In 2011, Kilimnik created a stage setting for the ballet Psyché by Alexei Ratmansky, at the Opéra national de Paris. 

 

For more information on Karen Kilimnik please click here.