Johannes Kahrs (b. 1965, Bremen, Germany) is best known for his evocative paintings in which he explores the duality of images, both as representations as well as constructions. His process begins with a photographic source taken from various forms of mass media, advertisements, or personal snapshots, which he recreates and alters on canvas. Kahrs’s paintings are often suffused with undertones of violence, death, and sexuality, where the body appears in mysterious and equivocal situations. His interests, however, lie within capturing moments of fluidity and elusiveness as opposed to something fixed or overtly political. As he endeavors to relinquish control over the image, Kahrs seeks to encounter something unexpected or accidental, creating enigmatic works that verge on the brink of familiarity.
Kahrs has held numerous solo exhibitions in institutions such as FRAC île-de-france, Paris; Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Germany; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; Centre PasquArt, Biel; GAMeC, Bergamo; Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London; FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; and Kunstverein München. His work is represented in the permanent collections of major museums worldwide including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and S.M.A.K., Ghent. He lives and works in Berlin.
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