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Janaina Tschäpe

Memory of Memory (Polyptych), 2021
watercolor pencil on paper in 9 framed parts
paper: 39 7/8 x 59 7/8 inches (101.3 x 152.1 cm) each
framed: 122 1/4 x 182 3/8 x 2 1/4 inches (310.5 x 463.2 x 5.7 cm) overall


Janaina Tschäpe

Valley 3, 2021
casein, oil stick and oil pastel on canvas
77 x 88 3/4 inches (195.6 x 225.4 cm)

Janaina Tschäpe

Valley 2, 2021
casein, oil stick and oil pastel on canvas
81 x 95 1/2 inches (205.7 x 242.6 cm)

Janaina Tschäpe

Sunken Sun, 2021
casein, oil stick and oil pastel on canvas
114 x 157 inches (289.6 x 398.8 cm)

Janaina Tschäpe

Between Veils of Blue and Grey, a Forest, 2021
casein, oil stick and oil pastel on canvas
116 1/2 x 335 1/4 inches (295.9 x 851.5 cm)

Blue Moon, 2021

Blue Moon, 2021
casein, oil stick and oil pastel on canvas
116 x 155 inches (294.6 x 393.7 cm)

Janaina Tschäpe

Pale Yellow Summer, 2021
casein and oil stick on canvas
116 x 157 1/2 inches (294.6 x 400.1 cm)

Press Release

June 26 – August 6, 2021
Artist Salon: Saturday, June 26, 3–6 pm

Sean Kelly gallery is delighted to present Balancing into the Deep, Janaina Tschäpe’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. This bold new body of work features the artist’s largest canvases to date and exuberant drawings. Richly painted using large scale oil sticks in addition to the water-based pigments she previously employed, it marks a fresh new direction in Tschäpe’s oeuvre. This shift in both material and scale allows the artist to “draw” as one would with a pencil or pastel, in addition to painting with a brush, producing a body of work that represents a fundamental move towards larger and more resolute gestures. The artist will be present at the gallery on Saturday, June 26 from 3–6 pm.

Perhaps the most important shift affecting Tschäpe’s recent work was brought on by the pandemic, when she left the city to work in nature. Whilst her work has always referenced the natural world, it was primarily through an interior dialogue, in the studio, conjuring memories and associations. Now, physically surrounded by nature, Tschäpe experienced what the German Romantics referred to as The Sublime, the sense of awe or wonder aroused by one’s feeling of relative insignificance in the face of nature’s vast and grand beauty. Emphasizing the overlap between human nature – emotional turbulence, expression and freedom – and that of the physical world, this body of work is, for Tschäpe, also inspired by the late 18th century German literary movement Sturm und Drang, which exalted nature, feeling, and human individualism.

These new works are informed by the play of color, shape, and pattern found in the environment; observations processed and incorporated within Tschäpe’s visual language illustrate how the formal aspects of her paintings intersect with the natural world. In discussing her process Tschäpe states, “Whether feeling unsettled, surprised, or in awe, I can explore how that feeling becomes a gesture, a color, and an expression. In nature, you expose yourself to the uncontrollable, the sublime; you do not switch off the sun, stop the wind, or silence the noises.” These new works demonstrate a vibrancy and richness enhanced by the use of the oil sticks creating a dynamic and vigorous presence. The immediacy, conviction and confidence of her vigorous, expansive gestures are demonstrable as Tschäpe engages unrestrained actions utilizing these new vivid and conspicuous materials. She presents a series of works that, despite the anxiety and hardships of the past year, emerge as both forceful and beautiful.

Janaina Tschäpe lives and works in New York. Her work is currently included in a two-person exhibition with Ursula Reuter Christiansen at the Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen from June 26 to September 5, 2021. Tschäpe’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, Florida; 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 institutions 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; and Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, amongst other. Her work can be found in notable 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.

For information on Janaina Tschäpe, please visit
For media inquiries, please email Adair Lentini at
For all other inquiries, please email Cecile Panzieri at

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