Karin Kneffel - Pfirsiche - image-1

Lot 654 D

Karin Kneffel - Pfirsiche

Auction 1071 - overview Cologne
04.06.2016, 11:00 - Contemporary Art
Estimate: 150.000 € - 200.000 €
Result: 210.800 € (incl. premium)

Karin Kneffel


Oil on canvas. 200 x 200 cm. Signed, dated and titled 'Karin Kneffel 1995 "Pfirsiche" (F 3)' verso on canvas.

The fruits of this large format peach still life have been realised in hyper-realistic perfection, as if a photograph. The three-dimensional depiction is so convincing that the peaches seem to step out of the picture space, sunlight and shadow play on the skin lit with yellow, orange and red nuances. The viewer is reminded of a large computer-generated advertising motif. However the perfection is slightly fractured by the rendering of minimal indentations in the fruit's surface, which in turn impart an apparent realism and give value to the image.

David Spanke explains the supposed naturalness in relation to this specific picture as follows: ''Realism is always mentioned when we actually don't expect it: as with a painted, handmade picture, where we know how difficult it is not to let it appear painted. In order however to see peaches, a picture is actually not necessary. Therefore we look at this picture not to discover something about them, even though they are exactly reproduced, but because they are showing us something - something which they are not themsleves, but is about the picture. If one moves in front of the image, the forms on the picture surface are distorted and reveal their flatness. With all illusionism it is not possible to confuse pictures with reality. Karin Kneffel emphasises the characteristics of a painted image as opposed to reality with the use of additional strategies. The substantial format of the painting (2 x 2 m) cause the peaches to appear extremely oversized . .[…] The immense dimensions additionally furnish the subject with greater importance; intentionally depicted large, the objects probably coincide with a corresponding importance […] In terms of the motif, there is no explanation for the picture, for its size and method of depiction. The monumentality and smoothness even prevent a true empathy with that shown and keep the viewer at a distance. In the first, comforting impression, cooler tones are mixed […] The experience of one's own size is also unsettled by the attempt to spatially relate oneself to the picture with its almost heroic monumentalisation of fruit and lanscape. As the viewer cannot explain their spatial relationship to the picture, they are continually referred back to themselves. The inclusion in a beautiful, albeit imaginary world, in which realistic painting is often only valued, is severly disturbed.'' (Daniel Spanke, Realismus ist anders, in: Achim Sommer (ed.), Karin Kneffel, exhib.cat. Kunsthalle in Emden 2001, p.7ff.)


The present work is featured on the artist's homepage.


Private collection, North Germany


Emden 2001 (Kunsthalle in Emden), Karin Kneffel, exhib.cat. p.29 with colour illus.
Rottweil 1996 (Forum Kunst Rottweil), Karin Kneffel, exhib.cat. p.47 with colour illus.