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A closer look.
The complete triptych.
Manuela Karin Knaut’s painterly work reflects the enthusiasm of the artist for travel, the discovery of new terrain and the inevitable leaving of her own comfort zone. The often harsh reality on the streets of Johannesburg, the to German eyes unexpectedly chaotic and disorderly-seeming life in the townships, the colourful variety in the narrow alleys of Accra, the unvarnished, broken walls, the graffiti of the street artists of Brooklyn, the uninhibited, real life and action in the most diverse corners of the world: it is the brokenness, the charmingly imperfect, the frequently temporary-seeming that fascinates Manuela Karin Knaut, and which she imbues into her pictorial language and the primary idea of her location-specific and large format installations. It is the rough edges and ends of life far away from the centre, far from the average safety and comfort. The artist consciously seeks out these confrontations with barriers and the edges of society.

Knaut expresses this restlessness, this almost childish, unprepossessing curiosity and adventurousness in her works. Her paintings are balancing acts of colour, form and line, surface and space, abstraction and figurativeness, image and text. Individual areas of colour are put down with strong paint marks and then worked over and over. A variety of more or less defined objects keep being woven into the painterly process. Everyday objects straight from life are contoured with line, or painted over, or revealed again.

The artist combines a great variety of materials in her paintings, true to the work style inspired by elements of street art scenes. She glues paper waste, images, photos, fabric pieces or bits of text onto her paintings, ties, rips, glues, sews or nails found objects onto or into her image worlds. She adds, reduces, scrapes, rips, rubs – no painting is treated like a raw egg. Life is frequently chaotic in Manuela Knaut’s generous studio and integrated print workshop. The artist works in four rooms on a variety of works concurrently, some hang on the walls, some wait in the drying rack for the next phase of work, others lean up somewhere or just lie on the floor. Here a layer of concrete is drying, there preparations for screen printing take form. In another place a base coat, a varnish, a glue or spray is applied. Still in all the chaos there is never any doubt about the moment when a painting is ‘finished’, when the story of that painting has been told. In the same clear and seemingly spontaneous way in which the first layers of paint have found their way onto the canvas, she is just as definitive about the point at which the work is finished. Sometimes after 15 minutes, sometimes after days or even weeks.

Next the works are hung on a plain white presentation wall, checked again and again and finally signed. At this moment a strange peace captures the usually pulsating studio space. Time, peace and space for observers, for their own stories and an invitation to let the thoughts wander and find one’s own place in the colourful world of Manuela Karin Knaut.
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Finding identity
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Finding identity Painting

Manuela Karin Knaut

Germany

Painting

Size: 47.2 W x 47.2 H x 1.6 D in

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Artist featured in a collection

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Featured in the Catalog

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Showed at the The Other Art Fair

About The Artwork

Manuela Karin Knaut’s painterly work reflects the enthusiasm of the artist for travel, the discovery of new terrain and the inevitable leaving of her own comfort zone. The often harsh reality on the streets of Johannesburg, the to German eyes unexpectedly chaotic and disorderly-seeming life in the townships, the colourful variety in the narrow alleys of Accra, the unvarnished, broken walls, the graffiti of the street artists of Brooklyn, the uninhibited, real life and action in the most diverse corners of the world: it is the brokenness, the charmingly imperfect, the frequently temporary-seeming that fascinates Manuela Karin Knaut, and which she imbues into her pictorial language and the primary idea of her location-specific and large format installations. It is the rough edges and ends of life far away from the centre, far from the average safety and comfort. The artist consciously seeks out these confrontations with barriers and the edges of society. Knaut expresses this restlessness, this almost childish, unprepossessing curiosity and adventurousness in her works. Her paintings are balancing acts of colour, form and line, surface and space, abstraction and figurativeness, image and text. Individual areas of colour are put down with strong paint marks and then worked over and over. A variety of more or less defined objects keep being woven into the painterly process. Everyday objects straight from life are contoured with line, or painted over, or revealed again. The artist combines a great variety of materials in her paintings, true to the work style inspired by elements of street art scenes. She glues paper waste, images, photos, fabric pieces or bits of text onto her paintings, ties, rips, glues, sews or nails found objects onto or into her image worlds. She adds, reduces, scrapes, rips, rubs – no painting is treated like a raw egg. Life is frequently chaotic in Manuela Knaut’s generous studio and integrated print workshop. The artist works in four rooms on a variety of works concurrently, some hang on the walls, some wait in the drying rack for the next phase of work, others lean up somewhere or just lie on the floor. Here a layer of concrete is drying, there preparations for screen printing take form. In another place a base coat, a varnish, a glue or spray is applied. Still in all the chaos there is never any doubt about the moment when a painting is ‘finished’, when the story of that painting has been told. In the same clear and seemingly spontaneous way in which the first layers of paint have found their way onto the canvas, she is just as definitive about the point at which the work is finished. Sometimes after 15 minutes, sometimes after days or even weeks. Next the works are hung on a plain white presentation wall, checked again and again and finally signed. At this moment a strange peace captures the usually pulsating studio space. Time, peace and space for observers, for their own stories and an invitation to let the thoughts wander and find one’s own place in the colourful world of Manuela Karin Knaut.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Airbrush on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:47.2 W x 47.2 H x 1.6 D in

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Manuela K. Knaut, born in 1970, lives and works in Braunschweig, Germany, as a freelance artist. She obtained her Master of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She also studied Art Education (with a focus on Painting and Museum Education) at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (Germany) and worked as a museum educator, author, university lecturer and art teacher in public schools. Manuela has been a member of the BBK, the Professional Association of Fine Artists in Germany since 2003 and is a member of the Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques which is in official relations with UNESCO. She is also a member of the The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) and GEDOK. Manuela Karin Knaut is best known for her paintings and art installations, but she also works with a wider range of media, including collages, photography and architectural objects. Her art is primarily expressionistic, a cypher for memories and emotions that can be frank and poetic as well as intimate and universal. Infused with colour and created with eloquent brushstrokes, Knaut´s often huge semi-abstract canvases and objects are charged with an explosive energy. Knaut´s work focuses on contemporary issues and universal themes regarding the human condition, such as home, love, loss and loneliness. She always finds inspiration for her multi-faceted works in being a seeker and a collector of things, and in passionately observing everyday life. The artist often uses personal situations, which then find their way into diverse series of her work. She deliberately makes room for a seemingly purposeless play with all sorts of objects and other materials. At first glance, these pieces of art present themselves in a light and blunt manner, but are never an accidental creation.

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