Throughout her career Tschäpe’s multidisciplinary body of work has encompassed painting, drawing, photography, video, and sculpture. In her practice, Tschäpe often incorporates themes of aquatic, plant, and human life to suggest dreamlike, abstract landscapes that blur perceptions of illusion and reality. Referencing interests in myth, morphology, and the mysteries of aquatic states, she has developed a distinctive language of abstraction in which organic forms are imbued with a remarkable quality of luminosity.
These distinctive compositions convey a sensation of movement, their biomorphic shapes and gestural marks functioning as emotive signifiers of her interior thoughts.
Tschäpe’s carefully nuanced canvases and drawings include imagery evocative of the natural world suggesting growth, transition, and metamorphosis. Her paintings contain innumerable layers of information accrued through the meticulous application of media including watercolor, casein, colored pencil, pastel and in her most recent bodies of work, oil stick. There exists in her work a dynamic tension between the loose, luscious forms that pervade the canvas and the precise systems of markings that often overlay and unify these compositions.
Janaina Tschäpe was born in Munich, Germany in 1973 and lives and works in New York. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg and her Master’s in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has had solo exhibitions at the Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; the Sarasota Art Museum, Florida; the Musée L’Orangerie, Paris, France; the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Kasama, Japan; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, and the Contemporary Museum of Art, St Louis. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions at venues including The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland; NCA Taipei, Taiwan; Whitechapel Gallery, London; TBA21-Augarten, Vienna, Austria; CCBB, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Centre D’Art Contemporain de Normandie, France; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Nanazawa, Japan; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Pratt Manhattan Gallery; OCA Museu da Cidade, São Paulo; Kunsthal Kade, Netherlands; Cidade Matarazzo, São Paulo, Brazil; Ronnebaeksholm, Denmark; Cultural Centro Banco do Brazil in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; and Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan.
Tschäpe’s work is found in important public collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, among others. She has completed public commissions in New York City; Miami Beach, Florida; São Paulo, Brazil; and Holbæk, Denmark.
If you invite Janaina Tschäpe over for supper, don’t be alarmed if she starts painting underneath the dinner table. It’s common practice for her, which leads to extraordinary sketchbooks that surprise at every turn of the page. She pulls open her drawing cabinets alongside giving a masterclass in watercolors and sharing more about her broader practice. With a multicultural, German-Brazilian background, she creates complex, abstract work with a playful spin.
Janaina Tschäpe - "Les Nymphéas" de Claude Monet." Musée d'Orsay. January 15, 2021.
A conversation with JANAINA TSCHÄPE. KABINETT. November 2020.
Janaina Tschäpe: HumidGray and ShadowLake 2018
BLOUIN ARTINFO, Oct 31, 2013
Critical lexicon of contemporary art. Essay on Janaina Tschäpe by Doris Von Drathen.