Gether
Contemporary

Pierre Knop

Pierre Knop - Dark Suns - Installation view, Gether Contemporary 2022
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Pierre Knop - Dark Suns - Installation view, Gether Contemporary 2022

Pierre Knop - Pool Match 2022, oil, crayon and ink on canvas, 160 x 190 cm
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Pierre Knop - Pool Match 2022, oil, crayon and ink on canvas, 160 × 190 cm

Pierre Knop - Waiting 2023, ink, oil, pastel and crayon on canvas, 120 x 140
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Pierre Knop - Waiting 2023, ink, oil, pastel and crayon on canvas, 120 × 140

Pierre Knop - Das Tal 2022, oil, acrylic, ink, oilstick and crayon on canvas, 120 x 160 cm
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Pierre Knop - Das Tal 2022, oil, acrylic, ink, oilstick and crayon on canvas, 120 × 160 cm

Pierre Knop, Helena and the Moon of War, 2021, 145 x 180 cm
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Pierre Knop, Helena and the Moon of War, 2021, 145 × 180 cm

In Pierre Knop's paintings, soulful landscapes encroach on small human figures and their houses, while they meditatively go about their daily lives swimming, hiking or fishing. A dreamlike quietude is accompanied by an ominous sense of unease, as something seems to be looming on the horizon and thickening the atmosphere.

Pierre Knop works intuitively and organically, usually on multiple canvases at once, embracing chances and presumed mistakes in his process. His use of multiple mediums on one canvas creates dynamic and vibrant compositions, ranging from richly saturated nearly flattened fields of colour to freely sketched areas of gestural lightness.

The artist perceives his studio as a laboratory for experiments. In long, intimate working sessions, the painter gets caught up in an associative flow in which his images form and interconnect. In previously unpredictable processes, he weaves together fleeting memories, dream visions and fragments of his extensive pictorial archive.

Influenced by Expressionism, Post-Impressionism and Symbolism, the artist has an approach to figures and landscapes, recalling painters such as Pierre Bonnard, Ferdinand Hodler or Poussin. Among his contemporary influences, he names Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson, understandable references, considering their common affinity for enigmatic and oddly timeless scenic compositions.

The protagonists of his paintings are overpowering landscapes, their figures merge with mountains, beaches or forests and exist in a certain tension to their environment. In the age of climate crisis, where ecological questions like rapid global warming and pollution are threatening every aspect of life itself, these sublime and intact landscape compositions seem almost surreal. These uncanny scenarios can neither be located to a specific place nor time and explore the ambiguities of escapism: on the one hand, the basic human need for spaces of longing, on the other hand, the desire to flee from an increasingly complex world and one's own responsibility in it.

At first glance, Pierre Knop's pictorial worlds seem bright and at times humorous, but in the aftermath, there is also a sense of a more elusive restlessness. The world of Dark Suns is filled with this ambivalence and complexity and reveals the traditional genre of landscape to be anything but naïve.

Pierre Knop was born in 1982 in France and raised in Germany. He graduated from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2013 and now lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Selected exhibitions include Kunsthaus Essen, CHOI & CHOI, Seoul, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, Kunstverein-Koelnberg, Annat Ebgi, Los Angeles, Ruttkowski68, Cologne, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Spazio Amanita, New York.

Selected Exhibitions & Projects

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Soulscapes; group exhibition with Pierre Knop at Meyer Riegger

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Dark Suns

CV

Born 1982, Nancy, France

Lives and works in Cologne

EDUCATION

2008-2013

Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (classes of Andreas Schulze & Katharina Grosse)

2013

Master of Fine Arts, graduate as ‘Meisterschüler’ (class of Katharina Grosse)

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2023

(upcoming) Yossi Milo, Idylle und Verderben, New York

Choi&Choi Gallery, ‘Uwe Henneken & Pierre Knop’, duo exhibition, Seoul

2022

Gether Contemporary, ‘Dark Suns’, Copenhagen

2021

Yossi Milo Gallery, ‘Paysage Wonderlust’, New York

2020

Choi&Lager Gallery, ‘Tetrachromatic Visions’, Seoul

2019

Choi&Lager Gallery, ‘Feast of Fools’, Cologne

2018

Annarumma Gallery, ‘Ei Gude’, Naples

Lyles and King, projectspace, ‘Bachsimpel‘, New York

2016

Jacob Bjørn Gallery, ‘Mayor Projects‘, Aarhus

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023

Gether Contemporary, ‘Dare to Dream’, Copenhagen

2022

Choi&Choi Gallery, ‘Flower’, Seoul

2021

Spazio Amanita, ‘The Loneliest Sport’, New York

2020

Ruttkowski68 Gallery, ‘Mixed Pickles 7’, Cologne

2019

Ruttkowski68 Gallery, ‘Mixed Pickles 6‘, Cologne

Barbara Seiler Gallery, ‘Finger Talkin’, Zürich

2018

Anat Ebgi Gallery, ‘Worshiping Sticks and Stones‘, London

PM/AM, ‘01’ (with Tom Anholt, Jessie Makinson, Neil Raitt etc.), London

2017

JAGLA, ‘Saskia’, Cologne

Kunsthaus Essen, ‘Memories of an Elephant‘ (with Tamina Amadyar, Simon Laureyns, Mathias Malling Mortensen), Essen

GRANTS, AWARDS & RESIDENCIES

2018

La Brea Residency, Los Angeles

2016

Friedrich-Schneider Grant, Düsseldorf

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2019-2020

Professor of painting 2019/20 at State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe

SELECTED ART FAIRS

2023

CHART Art Fair, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen

2022

CHART Art Fair, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen

2021

Enter Art Fair, Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen