The subtle evolution of Funk’s practice is explored, beginning with the artist’s meditative portraits of hooded figures, responses to conflicting senses of intimacy and anonymity he experienced on New York subways. In his most recent work, the human form is abandoned and replaced by images of bundled, crumpled, and knotted outerwear. The figures that populate most of Funk’s paintings exude a silent contemplation that places them in dialogue with the post-humanist figurative painting tradition: from the Italian and Northern Renaissance to Photorealism. Funk’s work is held in major museum collections, including the Guggenheim and the Whitney in New York, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition as well as a new documentary on the artist directed by Caelum Vatnsdal. Karel Funk (untitled) explores Funk’s art and inspirations, documenting the completion of one painting from start to finish, and following him through streets and galleries in New York. Watch below!