Karen Knorr photographed the building site of the disused Parisian Art-Deco Department store, La Samaritaine, in the summers of 2017 and 2018. In this new book, the resulting photographs, transformed with solarisation and infused with playful fantasy and surrealism are accompanied by lines from Brecht’s poem: Questions from a Worker Who Reads (1935).
Karen Knorr’s Gentlemen, published by STANLEY/BARKER in collaboration with Eric Franck Fine Art, takes us inside the hallowed halls of the most venerable private gentlemen’s clubs of 1980s London, and considers the patriarchal values of the English upper classes with beautifully precise photographs and texts constructed out of speeches of parliament and the news at that time. The complete series of 26 images and texts investigate the values that ally these classes to conservative aristocratic values where primogeniture (the right by law of the firstborn son to inherit his parent’s estate, in preference to daughters) is still an issue.
Karen Knorr’s Belgravia, describes through images and accompanying quotes, class and power amongst the international and wealthy during the beginning of Thatcherism in London.
Produced between 1979 and 1981 the images are now available for the first time in a beautiful artists monograph. Measuring 35 x 28 cm, printed on heavy stock and housed in a protective transparent jacket, the work describes the ‘everyday’ of a privileged minority, and whilst historically, portraiture of the upper classes has tended to be flattering, the combination of portraits and quotes from the subjects recorded during their sessions, brings Knorr’s work closer to satire.
With a preface by William Dalrymple, essay by Christopher Pinney, and interview by Rosa Maria Falvo
The extraordinary work of acclaimed photographer Karen Knorr and her poetic journey through the Indian Subcontinent. Karen Knorr began her ‘India Song’ series in 2008, after a life-changing trip through Rajasthan. These carefully crafted images take inspiration from the Indian tradition of personifying animals in literature and art, depicting scenarios that are at once otherworldly and surreal. Knorr’s work explores Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its contemporary relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality.
These photographs were taken in a couple of clubs, the Roxy, Covent Garden and the Global Village, Charing Cross in 1977 . In 2013 Olivier and Karen re-printed contacts and reconsidered their past work for a book project with GOST books. Thanks to Gordon Macdonald’s enthusiasm, they discovered another 20 images that stood the test of time.
The photographic work of Karen Knorr has developed intellectually and aesthetically since the mid 1980’s, following an initial practice relating to social documentary, Knorr discovered a new area of investigation that went hand in hand with her natural curiosity, interest and knowledge of art theory and art history.
Le tout est très beau, gracieux et surnaturel comme la quintessence du fabuleux. Car qu’est-ce que le fabuleux, si ce n’est la délicate fusion de l’imaginaire et de la réalité, de l’invraisemblable malicieusement devenu réel. Au-delà de leur séduction immédiate, c’est bien cette ambiguïté qui fait la force des photographies de Karen Knorr.
Including essays and an interview with Karen Knorr, this extensively illustrated text is a comprehensive overview of the photographer’s work from the 1990s to 2002. Knorr’s photographs explore with wit and humour the patronage and heritage that informs our ideas of art and national identity, with images taken at historical art collections and stately homes, and new developments using sound, installation and video. Knorr has been making photographs since the early 1980s, using a documentary style that recalls earlier traditions of portraiture and painting.
Photographie, allégorie et palimpseste par Antonio Guzman suivi de l’ombre de la photographie : Académies par Karen Knorr.
Photography, allegory and palimsest by Antonio Guzman on Academies by Karen Knorr.
Ouvrage édité pat la Frac de Basse Normandie à l’occasion de la conférence prononcée le 14 janvier 1997 au Frac de Basse Normandie à partir des oeuvres de Karen Knorr.
Introductory Essay by Patrick Mauries
From gentlemen’s clubs to elegant Palladian country houses, and the smart neighbourhoods of London , Karen Knorr comments with humour and irony on the rigid conventions of British class and taste .