Working in wide variety of mediums, including video, photography, performance, drawing, and painting, Janaina Tschäpe creates artworks rooted in personal mythology and fantasy. The aquatic – a recurring theme in the artist’s work – is revisited in works featured here. In the video and related photographs, Venice is used as a stand in for an imaginary city floating in water navigated by two costumed characters/creatures. Narrative is suggested but never made explicit, leaving the story open ended. As in previous works, the female body is used as a site for transformation with organic forms extending from the bodies of the subjects.
Tschäpe’s drawings, also presented here, explore a similar territory as the video and photographs – fantastical landscapes and organic (life)forms. Smaller drawings serve as preparatory sketches for the videos and photographs. The organic forms seen in the sketches also populate the elaborate large-scale watercolors suggestive of land or seascape. The mediums presented together in this exhibition provides a unique insight into the artistic practice and vision.
Janaina Tschäpe was born in Munich, Germany, and raised in São Paolo, Brazil. She studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg before moving to New York and completing her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in 1998. Tschäpe has exhibited throughout the world in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Recent exhibitions include a survey show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2008), the ICP Triennial in New York (2009), and solo gallery shows at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo and Galerie Catherine Bastide in Brussels (both 2009). Tschäpe lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.