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Stefan Knauf

Press release


Stefan Knauf – Oscar Columno​

With Oscar Columno Stefan Knauf (*Munich, 1990) presents his first solo exhibition at Robert Grunenberg Berlin. The Berlin-based artist shows new sculptural works which are immersed in an extensive installation setting dominated by skeletal columns. Thus, Knauf examines the stylistic and formal language of modernist interiors, specifically referenced in the imposing spaces of bourgeois apartment buildings in Milan. Whereas these spaces are usually clad in marble, brass and mahogany wood, Knauf takes a literal look behind the noble materials’ facade to reveal their supporting structures which otherwise remain hidden. In this act of uncovering, the artist transforms rough and untreated construction materials, such as drywall sheets and metal stud frames according to aesthetic considerations and applies meticulous craftsmanship to reconfigure them. Thus, the ordinarily invisible and pedestrian substructure itself is morphing into an ennobled surface on display. In his game of omission, exposure and upgrading, Knauf reveals the seemingly precious surface materials as construction elements of a brittle modernist fiction. The eponymous Oscar Columno may be understood as a clue in a double-deal, here: In a function not dissimilar to said Milanese interiors, this generic, yet evocative name of a fictional architect offers a fragile scaffolding for projections of grandezza and elegance.