The Kooky Kaleidoscope of Karen Kilimnik

A retrospective of amazing art hits MoCA

Visit the world of Karen Kilimnik and you’ll find a gothic landscape cloaked in a gossamer web of memory. At times her work can be like the contents of one of those kitschy wind-up jewelry boxes in which a ballerina pirouettes to “Swan Lake,” or akin to the pages of a doe-eyed moppet’s sugar-dusted diary. Kilimnik’s trove of imagery flits from childhood, ballet, pop music, film and fashion icons, romantic painting, witchcraft, murder, melodrama, and time travel in scenes that upend the historic and recent past into an unnerving vision of the present. Tonight at 7:00 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Karen Kilimnik,” the first American survey of the influential artist’s work, will feature more than 90 paintings, drawings, photographs, assemblages, and installations dating back to the Eighties.

One of her early “scatter art” installations is part stage set, part crime scene, riffing on the Sixties TV show The AvengersThe Red Room re-creates a 19th-century-style salon, with red brocade walls, a red tufted circular divan, and a suite of juicy seascapes tipping the chapeau to Neptune. The exhibit runs through November 11.
Sept. 7-Nov. 11, 2007
 
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