Many of German-born Silke Otto-Knapp’s paintings, drawings, and prints are inspired by the choreography of ballet and modern dance; her compositions are often populated by flat figures that appear to float on the surface of her canvases. Otto-Knapp creates tension between the artificiality of the surface and the reality of her imagery by using watercolor on canvas in a layering of textured washes. Her often monochromatic palette is reminiscent of distressed photographs enlivened with silver and gold pigments, imbuing her work with a reflective unpredictability that is equally disturbing and compelling.
Otto-Knapp received a degree in Cultural Studies from the University of Hildesheim, Germany, in 1997 and a MA in Fine Art from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK, in 1996. She has had solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, London, UK (2009); Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Canada (2009); Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles, CA (2009); Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany (2007); greengrassi, London, UK (2007), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, NY (2006); and Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Germany (2003). Her work has been included in many group exhibitions, including modern modern, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY (2009); Rendez-Vous Nowhere, Montehermoso Cultural Center, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2008); Art Sheffield 08: Yes, No & Other Options, UK (2008); Love in a void (with Jutta Koether), Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria (2006); 9th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2006); and The Undiscovered Country, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2004).