Karen Knorr, an American, was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally including The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths College and The Art Institute of Chicago. She currently teaches photography at the University College of Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, England, famous for having developed a new vernacular documentary style photography with eminent contemporary photographers such as Martin Parr, Anna Fox Paul Seawright, Keith Arnatt and Eileen Perrier. Karen Knorr studied at the University of Westminster, a contemporary of Olivier Richon, Mitra Tabrizian, and Mark Lewis whose photography addressed the critical debates concerning the 'politics of representation', practices which emerged during the late 1970's and early 1980's in England.
Karen Knorr produced Belgravia ground breaking series of black and white photographs with ironic and humorous texts that highlighted aspirations, lifestyle and the British class system under the neo liberalist Thatcher era in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Her most well known work called Gentlemen was photographed in Saint James’s clubs in London and investigated contemporary conservative values. In 1986 her work Connoisseurs used colour to explore connoisseurship regarding heritage and art in England in the 1980’s. Here she introduced elements into the architectural interiors of Chiswick House, Osterley Park House, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in order to challenge the transparency of the photographic document. This is a strategy that still appears in her photography today.
Karen Knorr’s work has developed a critical and playful dialogue with photography using different visual and textual strategies to explore her chosen subject matter that ranges from the family and lifestyle to the animal and its representation in the museum context. Karen Knorr uses photography to explore western cultural traditions from gentlemen’s clubs to elegant Palladian country houses; that present and comment on British society. Karen has been photographing fine art academies throughout Europe since 1994. Academies reflects on the relationship between the production of art, its transmission and consumption. Her work continues a dialogue with conceptual art and feminism. Although Knorr is renown for her photography she has also worked with video and installation.
Karen Knorr continues exploring our relationship to nature, animals, their representation and display in natural history fine art museums and zoos..More recently she has been exploring the nude reintroducing human animals into museum habitats such as the Louvre in Paris and the Lazaro Galdiano Museum in Madrid, Spain.
Karen Knorr will be exhibiting new work at Tasveer Arts in Bangalore from October 8- 24 2010 Transmigrations includes samples of her work Fables with her newest work India Song photographed in the mardawas and zananas of Rajput and Mughal palaces and havelis across northern India. India Song opened at Photo And Contemporary, Turin September 24, 2010 The work will be shown at Paris Photo, Paris and Artissima, Turin this fall. It will be on display at Photo & co until October 30, 2010.
Karen Knorr won the Pilar Citoler V international Photography Prize in 2011 and was invited to jdge the following year entries to this prize which aims to award a coherent body of photographic work with a catalogue and survey exhibition at Cordoba University. Karen Knorr will show a selection of works from 1977- 2010 which include her new work photographed in India. Karen Knorr will be showing new work at Tasveer Arts during the India Art Fair in New Delhi Jan 25- 29.
- 2012 KAREN KNORR @ The VI Pilar Citoler Prize Exhibition, Cordoba University, Cordoba Spain
- 2011 INDIA SONG, James Danziger Gallery, New York, New York, U.S.A.
- 2011 INDIA SONG, Filles Du Calvaire Gallery, Paris, France
- 2011 TRANSMIGRATIONS, Tasveer Arts @ Hermes Art Gallery, Mumbai , India
- 2010 FABLES, Carnavalet Museum, Paris
- 2011 Pilar Citoler V International Photography Prize Exhibition, Cordoba University, Spain
- 2011 Chobi Mela VI international Photography Festival, Dhaka University, Bangladesh