© Tim Van Laere Gallery – Exhibition view

Originally from Berlin, the former Communist eastern part of town to be precise, artist Friedrich Kunath (1974) has lived a radical transition from a strictly regulated existence and frugality to individualism and excess. Now a resident of Los Angeles, it isn’t surprising that the artist has developed a creative vocabulary ridden with dualities, keen observations, and an outspoken mockery the artist shares with many of his contemporaries. Kunath currently has a new solo exhibition at Tim Van Laere Gallery, entitled New Ballads, which presents a new body of works. Humbled by the current global pandemic, Kunath has dialled back his signature irony and presents a series of more subtle works in which he shares his inner thoughts and travels with his viewers.

The centrepiece of this show, entitled One Minute You’re Here, serves as an anchor around which the other paintings orbit like a satellite system. The work reveals several of the artist’s passions, such as perfume, tennis and music – the title itself refers to the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. The main actor in this piece, as Kunath likes to call his characters, is the Nick Drake figure who drags a bag of unspecified sadness out of his house and into the night. This figure reappears in the work Unspecified Sadness, where, in the spirit of German painter Casper David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, you see the figure from the back, carrying the bag into this comical cartoonish forest. According to Kunath, Friedrich’s figure from the back was revolutionary in the painting of inner landscapes (on through Jun 5).

Tim Van Laere Gallery
Jos Smolderenstraat 50
2000 Antwerp
Telephone: +32 3 2571417
Tue-Sat 1pm-6pm

© Tim Van Laere Gallery – Friedrich Kunath – I Haven’t Had A Good Time In A Long Time (top) and I Am Due For A Transcendent Moment (bottom)