Janaina Tschäpe’s art readily explores the juncture between perception and understanding. Her paintings, drawings, photography, video and sculptures prevaricate between representations, allusions and abstractions of landscapes, in which it is difficult to discern a palpable reality. This tendency reflects Tschäpe’s belief in landscapes as memories; ethereal, ephemeral things composed of recollections of places that we have previously seen or been to. The vivid juxtapositions of colour in her paintings in particular also seem to express how emotions affect our perception of landscapes. Tschäpe’s recent works appear to ‘flatten’ the landscape through geometrical forms. In contrast with her earlier paintings that created a sense of depth through seamlessly woven shapes and layers.
Tschäpe’s own versions of otherworldly creatures appear as if they could be from another dimension. Incorporating elements of aquatic, plant and human life, these creatures also reveal her interest in and connection with the sea and its various ‘hidden’ dimensions. Tschäpe draws on this unchartered space to imagine not only ‘undiscovered’ hybrid forms but more fluid dimensions of time and space. Many of her landscapes could be seen as seascapes, their free-floating forms portraying a world where time feels slower and space altogether larger.
Tschäpe was born on 1973 in Munich, Germany and was raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hochschule fur Bilende Kuenste, Hamburg and her Master in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Tschäpe lives and works in New York.