Kilimnik, The Tooth Fairy, 2002
This is the first solo exhibition in Ireland by the American artist Karen Kilimnik. The body of 26 works in ‘Karen Kilimnik: Fairy Battle’ embody the extraordinary eclectic nature of the artist’s work, from her early “scatter piece” installations and historical fantasy drawings to exquisite flower paintings, sculptures and photographs.
The exhibition, selected in the context of the historical setting of IMMA, addresses in a characteristically individual way both historical subjects and contemporary popular culture. It also reflects Kilimnik’s varied passions. These range from Tsarist Russia, classical ballet and the Gothic aesthetic, to today’s celebrity culture built around pop stars and glamour magazines, and, more recently, the world of fairies and fairy tales. In fact, Kilimnik’s work is crammed full of fairytale references, including dashing barons, tinkling chandeliers, wolves and sleighs, creating a magical world in which history, myth and reality coexist. Other works are sourced from glossy magazines, soap operas and television shows, reflecting Kilimnik’s preoccupation with icons of popular culture such as Leonardo di Caprio, Kate Moss and Elizabeth Taylor. Placing these characters within her own work Kilimnik again, creates her own reality, where past and present, fact and fiction dissolve to offer us a reinterpretation of our cultural history.
Born in Philadelphia, Karen Kilimnik has exhibited internationally since the early 1990s and has had solo exhibitions at the South London Gallery, the Bonner Kunstverein, Germany, and the 303 Gallery, New York.
A small publication accompanies the exhibition with a text by art critic and writer, Caoimhin MacGiolla Leith, (price €5.00).
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