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.
Écho de la pensée 2018
oil on linen 92 x 122 cm
Visions Before Midnight Series 2018
She never knew how much they loved her 2018
oil on linen 122 x 183 cm
It was not a hypnagogic state 2018 oil on linen 92 x 137.5 cm
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
Richard Knafelc’s representational paintings explore our place as humans in the universe, our place as people within cultures, and our search for meaning. He achieves this by utilising motifs of the explorer as flaneur and/or human artefacts, in highly coloured landscapes under star-filled skies. Motifs of stars and nebulae are used as a metaphor for the notion of wonder before the infinite.
Explorers, wanderers, and astronauts evoke ideas of exploration, observation, journeying, and discovery. Set in highly charged unreal environments, these figures suggest outsiders in a strange land, trying to make sense of both the cosmos and various artefacts of human culture.
Knafelc creates painted collages from digital photographic sources to effect a combination of multiple places and times to explore the idea of simultaneity, the subconscious, and non-linear narratives. In so doing, his paintings attempt to negotiate, and balance, the rational with the irrational.
Formally, Knafelc’s paintings not only refer to, and utilise, ideas of flatness, collage, and the digital, but also engage with the hand-made as analogue artefacts. They thus stand in marked contrast to the dominant world of digital images.
Richard Knafelc Ozymandias 2016 oil on linen 162.5 x 226 cm
Stardust -- Recent solo exhibition at Gallerysmith Project Space:
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 several prizes, such as the Sir John Sulman Prize, and his work is in private collections in Australia and Europe.
Ashley Crawford's Essay on the exhibition: See the Words page on this website:
"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 Odyssey." - Ashley Crawford
Click on the above image to see all of the artworks from the exhibition.
Richard Knafelc Oh my God - It's full of stars! 2015 oil on linen 81.5 x 122 cm
Richard Knafelc Explorers' fields (after Catherwood) 2015 oil on linen 71 x 56 cm
Richard Knafelc In search of the Great Architect 2016 oil on linen 66 x 91.5 cm
Richard Knafelc Liminal state 2015 oil on linen 66 x 91.5 cm
Richard Knafelc The answer is in the stars 2015 oil on linen 91.5 x 122 cm
Richard Knafelc The wanderer 2016 oil on linen 91.5 x 122 cm
Richard Knafelc Castor and Pollux 2016 oil on linen 91.5 x 122 cm
Installation view 1
Installation view 2
Installation view 3
Installation view 5
Installation view 4