Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York
About Johannes Kahrs
Claiming, “I prefer working with one image, distilling it down,” Johannes Kahrs produces paintings and drawings that mimic photographs and film stills to question the veracity of all images. Working with photographs and films culled from mass media, popular culture, and his own archives, he crops, blurs, and shifts perspective, honing in on some details while excising others, to dissociate the images from their original context. What remains are ominous moments that seem stilled just before or after a climactic event. In Untitled (figure with star) (2007), a woman’s upraised arms and blond hair edge the left side of the composition, against a black background in which buildings are barely visible. In this, as in all of Kahrs’s works, viewers must fill in the narrative from these fragmentary clues, as we do with filmic or photographic images—albeit less consciously.
German, b. 1965, Bremen, Germany