Selected works by Friedrich Kunath

Friedrich Kunath
First Life Takes Time then Time Takes Life


Seven c-prints

Overall size 41.6 x 414 cm

Friedrich Kunath uses a wide range of ubiquitous media to explore themes around the melancholy, existential nature of everyday experience. His drawings, photos, prints and sculptures have an immediate yet quizzical charge, raising questions about the obvious. Kunath has the ability to imbue approachable, ordinary materials with conceptual heft, always lacing his treatment of quotidian pathos with a jester-like humour.

Friedrich Kunath


Leather, crayon on canvas, watercolour on paper, watercolour on canvas,

280 x 202 cm

Untitled (2007) builds up an exaggerated, vaudeville-style mask of sadness through parts that make it whole: a bird on a branch, a knotted rainbow, snowy windows, an inverted statue at dusk, branches blowing in the wind, a black giant poodle hanging its head. A symbolic single perfect tear and a lengthy staircase fall from the eyes of this tragicomic blonde harlequin, whose diamonds have been transposed onto his cheeks.

Friedrich Kunath
Untitled (detail)


Screenprint on wood, 13 lamps, and 7 clay figures

173 x 199.5 x 199.5 cm

The seven colour photographs comprising First Life Takes Time Then Time Takes Life (2010) show seven frames almost repeating the same still-life composition: a piece of toast leaning on a pineapple-shaped white vase. Gravitas and the art-historical memento mori are referenced and made lighter by the gag inherent in Kunath’s visual pun – the ‘time’ alluded to in the title is illustrated through the noticeable change from frame to frame, showing the slice of bread being ‘overexposed’ and toasted to a cinder.

Friedrich Kunath


Gouache, watercolour, varnish on canvas

200 x 280 cm

In the sculpture Untitled, (2007) Kunath teases out ideas of existential anxiety shedding literal light over an appropriated New Yorker cartoon of shipwrecks hiding from their rescuers. The platform on which the scene is being examined is completed by kitschy figurines, including the classical Pierrot. Summing up Kunath’s sad clown approach to art-making are his thoughts on becoming an artist: ‘I can only refer to Werner Herzog, who said that the only artists left are those working in the circus.’

Friedrich Kunath's Biography

Friedrich Kunath
Born in 1974, Chemnitz, Germany
Lives and works in Los Angeles


Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles CA

Lonely are the Free, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin
The Most Beautiful World in the World, White Cube, London

Tropical Depression, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY,
Kunstsaele, Berlin.
I used to be darker, but then I got lighter and then I got dark again, Kaikai Kiki Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Hammer Projects: Friedrich Kunath, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Home wasn't built in a day,Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany,
Hello Walls BQ, Berlin, Germany,Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany
7 x 14, 5. Teil der Ausstellungsreihe 7 x 14, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden

Emoh, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Rising vs. Setting, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen

Twilight, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
Kunst aus NRW in der ehemaligen Reichsabtei Aachen-KornelimĂĽnster
BQ, Köln

I have always been here before, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, We were the one thing in the galaxy God didn’t have his eyes
On, April 3 – May 1
BQ, Cologne, Germany, Our endless numbered days

Annet Gelink Gallery/The Bakery, Amsterdam, Netherlands, We are not as far west..,
Art 34 Basel (under the auspice of BQ gallery), Basel, Switzerland,

Welcome Home Steve Curry, BQ, Cologne, Germany

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany, Peter Mertes Stipendium (with Thea Djordjadze)
CHAUSSE 37, Berlin, Germany, Friedrich Kunath, Videos

The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland, One day it will all make sense, with Dirk Bell

BQ, Cologne, Germany, Why are my friends such finks, with Dirk Bell


Funny, Flag Art Foundation, New York, NY curated by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson

Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany, Saatchi Gallery, London
Herzliya Biennal, Herzliya, Israel
MärklinWorld, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort
Desertieren, Kunstpavillon Innsbruck
The World Belongs to You, Punta della Dogana; François Pinault Foundation, Venedig
MIAC III Away From the Horde, Miami-Dade Public Library System’s, Miami
BS-VISITE, Rebenpark, Braunschweig
Human nature: contemporary art from the collection, LACMA, Los Angeles
Captain Pamphile #3, Sammlung Falckenberg/Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg
Watercolour, Tate Britain, London
Dwelling, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action, White Cube, London
Captain Pamphile #2, Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg, Waldkraiburg
Country Music, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
11. Triennale Kleinplastik, Fellbach
Kurt, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
The Library of Babel/In and Out of Place, Zabludowicz Collection, London

Inaugural Exhibition, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
GRIN & BEAR IT: cruel humour in art & life, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork
Play, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Mailand

The Eternal Flame. Ăśber das Versprechen der Ewigkeit, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel
Vertrautes Terrain. Aktuelle Kunst in/ĂĽber Deutschland, ZKM|Museum fĂĽr Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe
55th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
The Leisure Suite, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York

Verwendungsnachweis, Stipendiaten der JĂĽrgen Ponto-Stiftung 2003-2006, MMK, Frankfurt am Main
Blind Date, Magazzino d’arte moderna, Rom
Learn to read, Tate Modern, London

Bonanza, Tilton Gallery, New York
Nothing but pleasure, BAWAG Foundation, Wien
Spooky, Het Gebouw, Utrecht
Esquidor en el fondo de un pozo, FundacciĂłn/ColecciĂłn Jumex, Mexico City

The Gravity in Art, De Appel, Amsterdam
Fabriques du Sublime, La Galerie, Centre d´art contemporain, Noisy-le-Sec
Exile. New York is a good Hotel, Broadway 1602, New York

Rhinegold: Art from Cologne, Tate Gallery Liverpool
Strawberry Fields, O.P.A, Guadalajara; Galeria Canaia, Mexico City
No one else can make me feel the colors that you bring, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin

Inaugural Group Show, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Stadtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, Superschloss Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, Germany, On the other hand you have different fingers

Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany, Zero Gravity
BQ, Cologne, Germany, 1995-2001

Cologne, Germany, Parking Meter
Studiogalerie Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany, Make my paper sound

Chemnitz, Germany, VOXXX-Galerie
San Diego, USA, Green Room,

Galerie Peters-Barenbrock, Braunschweig, Germany, The easiest thing to grow in a garden is tired