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b. 1973

Janaina Tschäpe - Artists - Sean Kelly Gallery

Janaina Tschäpe is a German-Brazilian artist whose multidisciplinary body of work has encompassed painting, drawing, photography, video, and sculpture. Initially studying as a painter, Tschäpe turned her attention to sculpture, photography and performance after graduating from Hamburg’s Hochschule für Bilende Künste. Her photography and performance often involve the artist, or other bodies, interacting with or depict the coastal and riparian landscapes of Brazil. In her paintings, Tschäpe takes inspiration from her memories of these spaces to create her large-scale abstract paintings.

Tschäpe’s dreamlike, abstract landscapes blur the line between aquatic, plant, and human forms, referencing not only the landscapes Tschäpe draws upon for inspiration, but also her interest in myth, morphology, and the mysteries of aquatic states. There is a dynamic interplay, too, between the liquidity of the casein, watercolor, and oil from which Tschäpe builds up her surfaces, and the precise systems of marking in colored pencil, pastel, and oil which are layered atop them. Tschäpe’s paintings develop a distinctive language of abstraction in which organic motifs are imbued with a remarkable luminosity.

Tschäpe holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York and a BFA from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg, Germany. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; the Sarasota Art Museum, Florida; the Musée L’Orangerie, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona; the Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Kasama, Japan; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, and the Contemporary Museum of Art, St Louis. Tschäpe’s solo exhibition Soy mi propio paisaje is currently on view at the CAC Málaga, Spain.

Tschäpe’s work has also 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.

Tchäpe’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, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., among others. She has completed public commissions in New York City; Miami Beach, Florida; São Paulo, Brazil; and Holbæk, Denmark.

Tschäpe currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


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