May 29, 2020
Friedrich Kunath (b. 1974, Chemnitz, Germany) studied at the Braunschweig University of Arts, Braunschweig, Germany and now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Kunath utilizes a personal style of romantic conceptualism, layering poetic phrases with poignant, often melancholy imagery. The work embraces comedy and pathos, evoking universal feelings of love, hope, longing, and despair. The artist’s personal journey from Germany to Los Angeles plays a key role in his work, incorporating German Romanticism and western popular culture, with still life, cartoon imagery, commercial illustration, nature photography, and lyrical references.
The first major monograph devoted to Kunath’s life and work was published in 2018 by Rizzoli Electa, featuring contributions by James Elkins, James Frey, Ariana Reines, and John McEnroe.
Kunath has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including I’ll Try to Be More Romantic, Kunstsammlung Jena, Jena, Germany (2021); Juckreiz, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Germany (2016); A Plan to Follow Summer Around the World, Centre d'art Contemporain d'Ivry - le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, France (2014); Raymond Moody's Blues, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (2013); Your Life is Not for You, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2012); Lonely Are the Free, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, Germany (2011); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Kunstsaele, Berlin, Germany (2010); 7 x 14, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (2009); and Home Wasn't Built in a Day, Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2009). His work is also featured in prominent public and private collections such as the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Pinault Collection, Paris, France; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, among many more.
Friedrich Kunath: I Don't Worry Anymore
Friedrich Kunath: You Owe Me a Feeling
Friedrich Kunath: I used to be darker but then I got lighter and then I got darker again
Friedrich Kunath: Home Wasn't Built in a Day
Friedrich Kunath: Rising vs. Setting
The Avant-Garde Won't Give Up: Cobra and its Legacy
Friedrich Kunath: Songs Build Little Rooms in Time