Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce embrace, an exhibition of recent paintings by the German artist Johannes Kahrs.
Kahrs 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. While he rarely reveals the sources of his imagery, his paintings are imbued with echoes of their original context. The resulting ambiguity allows him to suspend meaning, leading his audience to question not only what is portrayed, but moreover the circumstances of the image at the time of its creation.
The exercise of power through representation serves as an important counterpoint to Kahrs’s image-making process. His 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. In this obscure territory, an embrace can alternatively be construed as brutal force. As Kahrs endeavors to relinquish control over the image, he seeks to encounter something unexpected or accidental, creating enigmatic works that verge on the brink of familiarity.
Kahrs (b. 1965, Bremen, Germany) 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.