02. Artists

Johannes Kahrs

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b. 1965 in Bremen (Germany); lives and works in Berlin (Germany)

The highly distinctive painterly treatment Johannes Kahrs brings to his political, religious, historical and media-sourced images intensifies their colours and modifies their primary meaning. The sensuality emanating from his paintings, works on paper and films, together with a near-obsessive attention to certain details, gives rise to new images that are sometimes thrilling and always volatile.

Kahrs has shown at Parasol (London), macLYON, Kunstverein München, (Munich), SMAK (Ghent), the Hayward Gallery (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf).

With the support of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. (Ifa), Stuttgart.

© DR


Works


La vie moderne

Feed my soul, Création Biennale 2015

Johannes Kahrs’ works are spread across two rooms. They set up dialogues with each other through the subjects as well as the techniques used: his selection of framed scanned photographs is shown here for the first time. The film director Russ Meyer, in an interview about his films, said: “I have my people bleed in colors – the black bleeds in white, the coward in yellow, the envious bleeds green, the faggot in lavender and Mr. Porterbuilt, the heavy, bleeds in red, because he’s the only straight fuck in the whole bunch”. To which Kahrs answers: “It’s the construction of images and realities which interest me”. Kahrs brings together images of Kadhafi, celebrities on drugs, and anonymous figures in a huge sequence that is both conceptual and pictorial. Though we may easily recognise some of his images or their subjects – Amy Winehouse, Bill Cosby, etc. – the noir-ish cast and the implicit violence imbued in his compositions contribute to break the feeling of superficial intimacy we may get from their apparent representations. By reminding us that an image does not always signify what it wants to tell us, Kahrs tries to bring to the surface readings of images that pop culture generally suppresses, while also exploiting painting’s capacity to suggest physicality and provoke visceral responses.

Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (white hand spider), 2015
Oil on canvas, 95,4 x 62,3 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (on the balcony), 2012-2013
Oil on canvas, 100,3 x 168,5 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (amy), 2015
Oil on canvas, 67,2 x 78,2 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (justin), 2015
Oil on canvas, 70,5 x 85,2 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (monkey man), 2015
Oil on canvas, 178,3 x 109,3 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (radisson), 2014
Création Biennale 2015
Oil on canvas, 186 x 107,5 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Untitled (bill), 2015
Oil on canvas, 113,5 x 159,5 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Ot (hand mirror), 2014
Création Biennale 2015
Oil on canvas, 63,5 x 54 cm

Untitled self portrait with cigarette, 2015
Oil on canvas, 51 x 39 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Anvers

Venues : Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)

Getting there



Gallery
Johannes Kahrs 5 photos
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© Blaise Adilon

Johannes Kahrs
Feed my soul - Création Biennale 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

Johannes Kahrs
Feed my soul - Création Biennale 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

Johannes Kahrs
Untitled (monkey man) - 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

Johannes Kahrs
Untitled (amy) - 2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

Johannes Kahrs
Untitled (on the balcony) - 2012-2013
La vie moderne | Le Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon (macLYON)