Apr 20–Aug 5, 2007

Karen Kilimnik


Karen Kilimnik, 2007

Karen Kilimnik, 2007, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

This is the first American survey for Karen Kilimnik. Drawing correspondences between romantic tradition and consumer culture, Kilimnik’s work brings a haunting and contrary sense of beauty to contemporary art. The world of the ballet and childhood, romantic painting and pop music, icons of film and fashion, signs of witchcraft, time travel, and murder comprise an imagery that has been culled from the historic and recent past into an unsettling present. In a world where the forces of nature, youth, and terror, have taken awesome hold, Kilimnik’s art rematerializes a quest for the romantic sublime.

Occupying both of ICA’s main gallery spaces, the survey was selected by the curator along with the artist, who typically approaches the exhibition of her work as a form of theatrical mise-en-scène. For this installation, Kilimnik specified that the first floor galleries appear almost empty except for a discrete chamber where her paintings are installed salon style on red walls—a romantic museum framed by the postmodern architecture. This exhibition spans 15 years of painting, drawings, assemblage sculptures, installation, photographs, and video. Curated by ICA Senior Curator Ingrid Schaffner, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalog publication and will be on view April 20–August 5, 2007.

This exhibition premiered at ICA and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Aspen Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Stuff to Art: A Conversation with Alex Da CorteArt and People, People and Art: An ICA Field TripDedication Monuments: Alex Da Corte and First Among EqualsAlpine Sheep in the ICA Meadow: Honoring Karen KilimnikBenefitKilminik 1

Kilminik 1

Kilminik 3

Kilminik 3

Kilminik 4

Kilminik 4

Kilminik 5

Kilminik 5
Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 9:30PM
Last Dance: Dirty Looks at the End of Days
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 2PM
Excursus IV: Video Art 1975
Books & Editions

Karen Kilimnik, a fully illustrated catalogue, accompanies ICA’s spring 2007 exhibition. It features an essay by the curator analyzing the development of the artist’s work and its historic contexts. A series of brief commissioned essays on related themes will also be included by dance historian Joel Lobenthal, art historian Scott Rothkopf and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, curator Dominic Molon. The catalog also includes a complete bibliography and an illustrated exhibition chronology.

ISBN 088454110X
Publication Date
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
ICA acknowledges The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for generous exhibition support. We are grateful to Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson for primary support of the catalog and to the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and 303 Gallery, New York. ICA thanks the Areté Foundation, Arthur Dantchik, The Dietrich Foundation Inc., The Toby Fund and David & Geraldine Pincus for supplementary contributions. Additional funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA, and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for inkind support from Loews Philadelphia Hotel. In addition, ICA is grateful to The Chodorow Exhibition Initiative Fund for support of the exhibitions tour.