Karen Kilimnik's paintings and installations both function as inspired acts of ‘redocation,' transforming a canvas or a space with objects, styles, and sensibilities to acknowledge the futility of changing much of anything in the outside world through artistic gestures. Her work instead directs the viewer inward, toward places and visual motifs from bygone eras or the realm of fantasy that we internalize in order to escape from the dissatisfying drudgery of our daily lives. Kilimnik's project, however, does not so much indulge in the trappings of the escapism as stage them in order to heighten our awareness of how these concepts of elegance and glamour have always already been constructed for us. While her paintings certainly possess a singular strength and sophistication in their exploration of art historical genres and themes, and their continued relevance to the way we perceive the world today, the installations ‘framing' these works bring the viewer palpably into this dialogue with the past. Kilimnik's redecoration of our physical experience of her paintings prompts us to deal with the presentness of her work, how ‘yesterday' becomes ‘here, 'demonstrating once again that the worlds of mystery and wonder that she depicts are, perhaps, the only ones worth changing. (D. Molon,Yesterday is Here, Karen Kilimnik, Zurich, 2006, pp. 7-8)
Lady Diana Spencer at the Royal Opera House
Water based oil on canvas in three parts with audio cassette soundtrack.
Signed and dated ‘Karen Kilimnik ‘99' on the reverse of each panel.
The four elements which comprise this work are each in very good condition. The cassette tape is in perfect working order, Alan Price's soundtrack to "Oh Lucky Man" is played on continuous loop. Each of the painted panels is comprised of water soluble oil on canvas and each panel is supported by a four member keyable wooden stretcher stapled on the turnover edges. There are faint distortions in each panel to the underlying canvas weave which is inherent to the artist's chosen working material and therefore not considered a condition issue. There is faint surface dust to all three panels and three fly spots to the upper half of the composition of the left panel.
35.5 x 28 cm. (14 x 11 in).; 40.6 x 30.4 cm. (16 x 12 in).; 35.5 x 28 cm. (14 x 11 in).
Edition Patrick Frey, ed., Karen Kilimnik Paintings, Zurich, 2001, p. 241 (illustrated)
303 Gallery, New York