Reimagining Plato’s Cave,  2018, oil on linen, 92 x 137.5 cm

Reimagining Plato’s Cave, 2018, oil on linen, 92 x 137.5 cm

Solo Exhibition: Visions Before Midnight

Richard Knafelc’s latest solo exhibition, Visions Before Midnight, is at Rubicon ARI and runs from 26 September to October 13. Opening hours are Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm.

Rubicon ARI: Level 1, 309 Queensberry Street North Melbourne. The gallery is situated above Tongue and Groove and is entered from Cobden Street. Regretfully, there is no disabled access.

About Visions Before Midnight:

Richard Knafelc’s representational paintings in his Visions Before Midnight series explore strangeness, mystery, the unexplained, and dream-like states. He achieves this by utilising depictions of lights or stars which appear to float through highly coloured, unreal landscapes.

Knafelc is influenced by the philosopher Plato’s work The Republic. An interpretation of Plato’s writings is that in the world, physical objects we perceive with our senses are but shadows of their ideal or perfect forms. Knafelc uses this as a departure point to examine our perception of the material world and its representation, and think about what might exist beyond the physical realm.

The titles of the works reference philosophical ideas, invented personal stories, and psychological phenomenology, and add a further layer of meaning and ambiguity.

Dr Richard Knafelc is a contemporary painter living and working in Melbourne. In 2017 he completed a Master of Fine Art with Distinction at RMIT University, mentored by Dr Jan Nelson. Knafelc has been selected as a finalist in several major prizes including: the Sulman Prize, the Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés, the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, and the Gold Coast Art Prize.

Reimagining Plato’s Cave,  2018, oil on linen, 92 x 137.5 cm     Group Exhibition:  Subterranean    Subterranean: Exploring ideas of the unseen, the hidden, and that which exists under the surface, physically, imagined, and metaphorically.  Curated by Leanne Waterhouse for Coalesce -- a collective of past and present MFA students at RMIT. Coalesce is supported by RMIT Link Arts and Culture.  Artists: Sarah Austin, Pie Bolton, Rolando Garay-Matziaris, Louise Gresswell, Richard Knafelc, Dom Krapski, Garry Moore, Lizzy Simpson, Amber Stokie, Kat Teede, Leanne Waterhouse, and Jude Worters.  The exhibition runs from 18 July to 23 August in Campbell Arcade -- the subway between Degraves Street and Flinders Street Station, Melbourne.

Reimagining Plato’s Cave, 2018, oil on linen, 92 x 137.5 cm

Group Exhibition: Subterranean

Subterranean: Exploring ideas of the unseen, the hidden, and that which exists under the surface, physically, imagined, and metaphorically.

Curated by Leanne Waterhouse for Coalesce -- a collective of past and present MFA students at RMIT. Coalesce is supported by RMIT Link Arts and Culture.

Artists: Sarah Austin, Pie Bolton, Rolando Garay-Matziaris, Louise Gresswell, Richard Knafelc, Dom Krapski, Garry Moore, Lizzy Simpson, Amber Stokie, Kat Teede, Leanne Waterhouse, and Jude Worters.

The exhibition runs from 18 July to 23 August in Campbell Arcade -- the subway between Degraves Street and Flinders Street Station, Melbourne.

Selected for the 2018 Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés   Richard is very pleased that his self-portrait:  It was not a hypnagogic state  2018 (oil on linen 92 x 137.5 cm) was selected to hang in the Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés this year. This is the second time Richard has been selected for this important exhibition.  The exhibition is at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney from 12 May to 29 July 2018.  www.shervingallery.com.au/current-exhibition/      About the painting:   This self-portrait is from my  Visions before Midnight  series – exploring strangeness, mystery, the unexplained, and dream-like states. I utilise depictions of lights or stars, which appear to float through highly coloured, unreal landscapes. These highly-charged environments are often inhabited by people trying to make sense of them.  ‘Hypnagogic’ refers to the state just before falling asleep, in which we can experience strange phenomena, including hallucinations.  I create painted collages from digital photographic sources to effect a combination of multiple times and places to explore the idea of simultaneity, the subconscious, and non-linear narratives. In so doing, I investigate the rational versus the irrational.

Selected for the 2018 Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés

Richard is very pleased that his self-portrait: It was not a hypnagogic state 2018 (oil on linen 92 x 137.5 cm) was selected to hang in the Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés this year. This is the second time Richard has been selected for this important exhibition.

The exhibition is at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney from 12 May to 29 July 2018.

www.shervingallery.com.au/current-exhibition/

About the painting:

This self-portrait is from my Visions before Midnight series – exploring strangeness, mystery, the unexplained, and dream-like states. I utilise depictions of lights or stars, which appear to float through highly coloured, unreal landscapes. These highly-charged environments are often inhabited by people trying to make sense of them.

‘Hypnagogic’ refers to the state just before falling asleep, in which we can experience strange phenomena, including hallucinations.

I create painted collages from digital photographic sources to effect a combination of multiple times and places to explore the idea of simultaneity, the subconscious, and non-linear narratives. In so doing, I investigate the rational versus the irrational.

Richard Knafelc  Eclipse  2016 oil on linen 122 x 183 cm       RMIT MFA Graduate Exhibition   Opens 6pm Thursday 7 December 2017 and runs until Saturday 16 December.  RMIT Melbourne City Campus, Building 2, Level 3. La Trobe St Melbourne.  Hours: 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday.  12pm - 4pm Saturdays.

Richard Knafelc Eclipse 2016 oil on linen 122 x 183 cm

RMIT MFA Graduate Exhibition

Opens 6pm Thursday 7 December 2017 and runs until Saturday 16 December.

RMIT Melbourne City Campus, Building 2, Level 3. La Trobe St Melbourne.

Hours: 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday.

12pm - 4pm Saturdays.

Richard Knafelc  Eclipse  2016 oil on linen 122 x 183 cm     Finalist in the John Leslie Art Prize 2016   John Leslie Art Prize - for landscape painting.  Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Victoria.  Saturday 3 September to Sunday 20 November 2016.

Richard Knafelc Eclipse 2016 oil on linen 122 x 183 cm

Finalist in the John Leslie Art Prize 2016

John Leslie Art Prize - for landscape painting.

Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Victoria.

Saturday 3 September to Sunday 20 November 2016.

 

 

Solo Exhibition - Stardust 

Gallerysmith Project Space

16 June to 9 July 2016.

Gallerysmith Project Space
170-174 Abbotsford Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Richard Knafelc investigates the place of human beings in the cosmos and the transience of human existence through explorations of archeology, astronomy and the landscape. The underlying concept of his work lies in the finite versus the infinite - transience versus eternity - informed by philosophical ideas relating to cosmological and transcendental infinity, and the sublime.

Richard Knafelc is an artist based in Melbourne, where he is currently completing a Master of Fine Art at RMIT University.                   His history in medicine also informs his practice. He has been a finalist in numerous prizes, such as the Sir John Sulman Prize, and his work is in private collections in Australia and Europe.

 

See the Words page on this website for Ashley Crawford's essay on this exhibition:

"Knafelc has eschewed the mundane for the cosmic. He has charged full bore though the portal to escape the commonplace and in doing so has landed in a realm where the historical meets the futuristic - a zone akin to Stanley Kubric's 2001: A Space Odessey."  - Ashley Crawford

 

Installation view 1

Installation view 1

Installation view 2

Installation view 2

Installation view 3

Installation view 3

Installation view 4

Installation view 4

Installation view 5

Installation view 5

Selection as Semi-finalist in the 2015 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Richard Knafelc's portrait of Ms Deborah Cheetham AO was selected in the semi-finals of the 2015 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, made her international debut in 1997 and has performed in the theatres and concert halls throughout Australia, in the UK, the US and New Zealand.

Ms Cheetham created Australia’s first Indigenous opera, Pecan Summer, which premiered in 2010. She had brought Indigenous singers from around the nation for intensive classical vocal training in preparation for this performance.The success of Pecan Summer led to the creation of Short Black Opera Company, a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the discovery and development of Indigenous opera singers. As Artistic Director of Short Black Opera Company Deborah Cheetham has assisted many Indigenous singers to find their voice through the powerful medium of opera. Successive seasons of Pecan Summer have included performances at the Melbourne Arts Centre (Melbourne 2011), WA State Theatre Centre (Perth 2012) and Her Majesty's Theatre (Adelaide 2014).

Ms Cheetham was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia, and in 2015 she was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. 

Richard Knafelc  Deborah Cheetham  2015 oil on linen 51 x 41 cm

Richard Knafelc Deborah Cheetham 2015 oil on linen 51 x 41 cm

   

Selection in the inaugural Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

Richard Knafelc's painting Flight into Egypt was selected for the finalist exhibition of the inaugural Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize. The exhibition ran from 2 May to 13 June 2015 at The Gallery at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, Brighton, Melbourne.

Richard Knafelc  Flight into Egypt  2014 oil on linen 61 x 91.5 cm

Richard Knafelc Flight into Egypt 2014 oil on linen 61 x 91.5 cm

Artist's Statement:

The title Flight into Egypt makes reference to the biblical story of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt with the infant Jesus, to escape the murderous tyranny of King Herod. There is a long tradition of depictions of this story in art history.

In the contemporary context, this painting is intended to be more ambiguous. An adult and a child are traversing a large urban space. If they are fleeing, it is unclear from what. They might be escaping persecution or surveillance by some authoritarian regime or terrorist group. There is a reference to the misuse of power against children and the vulnerable.

The loving and intimate connection between parent and child is contrasted with malevolent social forces.

 

Gold Coast Art Prize 2014 Selection

Richard Knafelc's painting Mystic portals, featured in his recent solo exhibition, was selected in the finals of the 2014 Gold Coast Art Prize. The exhibition ran from 6 December 2014 to 8 February 2015 at the Gold Coast City Gallery.

The Gold Coast Art Prize was established in 1968, making it one of the longest running acquisitive art prizes in Australia.

Richard Knafelc  Mystic portals  2014 oil on linen 84 x 122 cm

Richard Knafelc Mystic portals 2014 oil on linen 84 x 122 cm

Artist's Statement:

Mystic portals, part of my Transformations series, is a painting of quotidian ATM machines comprised of two overlapping images: One has photographic negative, or ‘inverse’ colours and tones; the other has colours of a positive, or standard image. The overlapping and doubling of images lends an abstracted quality and this reflects my interest in the nexus between figuration and abstraction.

With its ironic title, this work may suggest spiritual values can be lost in the face of increasing economic materialism. The idea of portals suggests doorways into other worlds, and of course money can help realise our hopes and dreams of happiness. The glorification of these machines in this artwork, however, may serve to highlight the shortcomings of emphasising monetary values to the detriment of human values.

 

 

Sulman Prize 2014 Selection

Richard Knafelc's painting Running on empty, featured in his recent solo exhibition, was selected in the finals of the 2014 Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

The Sir John Sulman Prize, held annually in conjunction with the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.

The finalists for the Sulman Prize may be viewed at:  http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/sulman/2014/

There are also links to the Archibald and Wynne Prizes on this webpage.

Richard Knafelc  Running on empty  2014 oil on linen 102 x 152.5 cm

Richard Knafelc Running on empty 2014 oil on linen 102 x 152.5 cm

Artist's Statement:

This painting is part of my Transformations series in which I explore tensions arising between notions of economic materialism and happiness. The title Running on empty refers to the hollowness which can ensue from extreme materialism and acquisitiveness. It also evokes the consequent dwindling of the earth’s environmental and physical resources.

An affluent suburban landscape is rendered alien by the use of bizarre and vivid colours as may be found in a photographic negative. A couple, accompanied by their desired house and car, seem oblivious to the angry orange sky, which could presage an environmental catastrophe.