Silke Otto-Knapp: Seascapes

Art Free
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars


This room is silent, still and monochrome. The paintings seem to sink deep into the bright, white walls. German-born and London-based artist Silke Otto-Knapp’s work is unrushed, calm and meditative, it feels like a kind of resistance to the chaos of modern life through painting.

The ‘Seascapes’ of the title appear in lots of these recent works: bleak, dreary coastlines and islands that rise out from grey waters. Other images show performers in the midst of a dance rehearsal, or models walking down a catwalk, all captured in stark variations of grey. Otto-Knapp’s work is loaded with subtle cultural references, nodding towards avant-garde choreographer Yvonne Rainer, fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent or famous R&B songs .

Eventually you start to join the dots that form Otto-Knapp’s constellations, and the initial stillness of these paintings takes on the movement of the scenes they represent: an Yves Saint Laurent catwalk, the rehearsal of a radical dance company, or water flowing down a shoreline. 

The rhythm of the dancers, models and seas are united in their gracefulness, which is magnified by Otto-Knapp’s careful and delicate techniques. It’s easy to get lost in the depth of these paintings, and the show provides a refreshing sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the world outside. 

By: Philip Serfaty


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