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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Silke Otto-Knapp: In the Waiting Room


Renaissance Society / Chicago / Art

The German painter Silke Otto-Knapp, who is based in Los Angeles, starts each painting with a drawing transferred to a canvas and filled in with black watercolor pigment. She then hoses down the surface, tilts the canvas, wipes the dissolving watercolor, only to repeat the process once more, building deeply atmospheric compositions that have a strong sense of motion. This quality is particularly well-suited for an homage to the woman who inspired Otto-Knapp’s latest series of large-scale works—the Russian painter, performance artist, and costume designer Natalia Goncharova. The paintings are placed theatrically in the Renaissance Society’s 3,000-square-foot gallery, suggesting backstage moments and onstage dramas. —C.J.F.

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