The first major monograph devoted to the witty paintings and sculpture of Los Angeles-based artist Friedrich Kunath.
From his precipitous rise in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Friedrich Kunath has been making art that beautifully and lyrically combines the experience of the ordinary with the sublime. In the first major monograph devoted to the past fifteen years of his work, the reader sees how the artist poignantly yet playfully distills the fundamentals of human emotion--desire, loneliness, and anxiety--creating comically tragic scenes in which human beings try to find their way in the world. Shifting easily between genres and modes of making--from painting to installation and even video--the work always maintains his signature wit and humor, laced with melancholy.
The artist has considered the ideas that run throughout his oeuvre and offers new insights by gathering works across media that are connected conceptually in eight chapters, organized thematically rather than chronologically. Art historian James Elkins takes an historical approach to Kunath's work, linking him to both recent and older traditions of European painting. Ariana Reines contributes a poem inspired by the artist's work and James Frey writes a short essay inspired by Kunath's persona. The artist and John McEnroe, the famed tennis player, have a spirited conversation about their shared passion for the game of tennis.