‘The artistic illusion does suggest a meaningful order, but I see it precisely the other way around. I assemble objects in such a way that the distinction between different uses … becomes superfluous. They are wonderful, highly charged objects, regardless of whether they are rotten or edible, raw or cooked. What you feel when you look at them you can only feel if you involve yourself with them. Order plays no role whatsoever, not even the inner barrier that tells you that pickles and cherries are incompatible in a culinary context.’
(K. Kneffel quoted in Looking Back to the Future Karin Kneffel in Conversation with Daniel J. Schreiber [http://www.kneffel.de/kneffel/texte/schreiber_eng.html]).
Born in Marl, Germany, Karin Kneffel studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1981 and 1987, where she came under the tutelage of Johannes Brus, Norbert Tadeusz and Gerhard Richter. Known for her flawlessly executed, seductively realist manner of painting, Kneffel typically focuses on everyday objects – fruit, domestic scenes, and animals – shown from unexpected view-points and angles. In portraying them in this way, the artist imbues these entities with an element of the uncanny, confounding the viewer’s expectations and causing them to question the nature of what they are seeing. In the present work, Kneffel adopts an extreme close-up of her subject, a bunch of perfectly unblemished grapes, which is then enlarged to immense proportions and dramatically cropped. This curious perspective, combined with the play of light and shadow in the composition, creates an ambiguous pictorial space, as it remains unclear whether the grapes are seen from below or behind, their forms appearing to hang weightlessly on an invisible vine.