Pierre Knop's (b. 1982; Nancy, France) paintings convey a childlike fantasia, depicting idyllic mountainous landscapes, boxing gyms, classic pubs, and calm seascapes with rich, swirling colors and a deliberate flattening of perspective. Approaching the canvas as both a sketchbook and a painting, the artist combines multiple mediums to render enchanted scenes that are inspired by his natural surroundings and personal memories. This loose and playful creative process, complicated by decidedly Expressionist and Post-Impressionist influences, opens interpretation of each painting to multiple storylines and moods.
In Knop's landscape works, trees, mountains, sky and sea loom large, powerfully upstaging the small human and animal figures quietly hiking, resting or performing mundane tasks among them. Viewers, too, are invited to enter Knop's kaleidoscopic, timeless worlds through multiple access points, led in by a trail of distant vacationers, gentle ocean currents, or quaint, winding paths. His interior scenes, often set in a dimly lit pub or lushly furnished room, center human figures with exaggerated forms, enveloped by richly textured wooden floors and low ceilings. Using a multitude of mediums such as crayon, oil stick, oil pastel, acrylic, and ink, on the same canvas, Knop alternates between finely drawn lines and thick, heavy brush strokes to sensuously render familiar forms such as natural landscapes and human figures, as well as more abstract passages of color and delicate form. With an open mind and unbridled imagination, the artist allows his intuition, or what Philip Guston once called "the third hand" to guide his painting process, creating works that toggle between the intentional and unintentional, the descriptive and the ambiguous. Knop presents fluid scenes in continuous states of flux and tension, teasing his viewers with glimpses of comfort and holiday leisure, yet allowing something inscrutable and mischievous to rise to the surface.
Pierre Knop has presented solo exhibitions across the globe, including at Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark; Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul, Korea and Cologne, Germany; and Lyles and King, New York, NY. Work by the artist has been included in group exhibition at Barbara Seiler Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland; Spazio Amanita, New York, NY; Ruttkowski68 Gallery, Cologne, Germany, and Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, among others. Pierre Knop currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany.