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Unabridged article Exhibition Cologne 2020 Thomas Dahl (Freelance Journalist)


Exhibition until June 2nd, 2020: Galerie Kunstraub99 - Aachener Strasse 1002, 50858 Cologne



Emotional, coarse, delicate, shrill and uncompromising.

The rich sound of perception - 40 years, sometimes impasto, sometimes drawn on the wall.


Date: March 12, 2020 to May 5, 2020


Location: Kunstraub 99, Aachener Str. 1002, 50858 Cologne

Excerpt from a laudation (held in Würzburg) by Liane Thau MA art historian

For each creative phase that deals with a country or a topic, Claus Knobel develops his own style of design, which he considers appropriate in terms of content and message. That doesn't happen overnight - step by step he develops painting strategies that will surprise even a long-serving art historian.

And “complexity” is always the leitmotif of his creative will - both in terms of content and form.

Whether old Europe or distant continents, the painter Claus Knobel is drawn out into the world, he is interested in nature, the landscape and the people who live in it. On his mostly three-month motorcycle carriage trips, he immerses his whole being, body and soul in the countries he visits and thus in a multi-layered process.

Excerpt from a laudation (held in Rastatt) by Professor Dr. Helge Bathelt

By remembering, identifying and being challenged to perceive different things:

we are already in the network of the picture author and experience his enormous presence as a designer.

Being drawn in creates closeness. Proximity means the compulsion to a progressive differentiation of the perception from which accuracy arises, registration of details and the way into what is the essence of this work, namely its spiritual depth.

Claus Knobel does not end with the virtuosity of his representational painting. Even where he connects to a baroque lighting control and lets sunlight flood out of a cloud theater: he clears up any misunderstanding of a merely reproduced natural beauty by - and he does this consistently in all of his works - injuring the subsurface in such a way that he himself for the superficial natural beauty no longer exists.

This preparation of the substrates is already very interesting as a process.

Excerpt from a laudation (held in Cologne) by Dr Wolfgang-Till Buss art historian

As if on the way to a distant country, he also embarked on a journey inward, the ramifications of which are reflected in the cartographies of his paintings. Knobel's motorcycle tours have taken him to different parts of the world, to Corsica, the outbacks, and will soon take him to Namibia. There are always places that stand in contrast to our urbanized, over-civilized and planned world; they are places that can dictate unforeseen directions to the traveler and unexpected turns to the artist. On each trip, Knobel discovered different topics and thus developed different styles and forms of expression that seemed appropriate to these subjects.

So he soaks silk scarves in acrylic and places them in several layers over the skeletal, graphic framework of his work; the spray gun fills the canvas with motifs, which in turn are covered with a whitish veil and sanded off. This very idiosyncratic technique, based on traditional European glaze painting, creates images full of contradictions. A basically abstract and an objective reading level communicate with one another on these surfaces.

Often there is a sharp contrast: on the one hand the organic growths and texts created as if half-asleep in the depth of the works, which then seem to float in the foreground with sudden sharpness; on the other hand, the coldness of capitalist palaces: bank foyers, slightly showy shop fronts of a jeweler, cafes from the founding boom around 1900. Everything under a mirror-smooth, seemingly cold surface, while in the depths, as in the dream time of the Aborigines, mysterious scores of unknown melodies emerge.

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