Ingrid Knaus

Ingrid Knaus

Location: Austria

ARTAVITA, art contest, Vorauswahl August 2015:

Ingrid Knaus, Biography:
Born in 1958 an today lives and works in Graz, Austria; received her degree in German Literature an Art History in 1993 from the Karl-Franzenz-University in Graz;. Her works has been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Austria and abroad;

Awards for her paintings:
2012: „Grand Prix Europeo Abrecht Dürer“, L’Accademia Il Marzocco di Firenze;
2013: Jean Siméon Chardin;
2013: Georges de LaTour;
2014: Premio Galileio Galilei,
2015: „pace, progresso, umanitá“,
2015: nature, art, design;
2016; Memoria, Ragione e Fede,
2017, La Fiamma dell'Arte, from Accademia int. Gent. Il Marzocco, Firenze;,
2018: Magnifique Trofée, from Accademia Culturale iIl Marzocco; and other awards in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 from Accademia Culturale Il Marzocco, Firenze;


Criss- crossing Airlines

Ponte Solferino, The road next to the pier along the Arno is cobbled. In the darkness, I had the impression that the long, straight road converges and we will soon be stuck. We came from south west into the city. On our way I´d memorized the exact order of the bridges along the road. We turned right at the Ponte Solferino to stay close to the Via Roma, where our accommodation was.
oil on canvas, 28 x 110 cm

Ponte Solferino “Ponte Solferino”

the road next to the pier along the Arno is cobbled. In the darkness, I had the impression that the long, straight road converges and we will soon be stuck. We came from south west into the city. On our way I´d memorized the exact order of the bridges along the road. We turned right at the Ponte Solferino to stay close to the Via Roma, where our accommodation was.
Oil on canvas, 28 x 110 cm

Via Alessandro Volta “Via Alessandro Volta”

On the run, I forgot about the traffic cones and knocked down one of them. When I got out of the car to replace the battered cone, the lady stormed out of the house screaming “via, via!” making her standpoint clear. I jumped into the car and rushed away. In front of a small pizzeria we stopped, again ignoring the restriction, to phone our host. She told us to stay where we are and wait for her. Only the next day I realized that Via Santa Maria is more or less the main road for tourists, directly leading to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Oil on Canvas, 40 x 50 cm,

Via Alessandro Volta crossing Via Roma “Via Alessandro Volta crossing Via Roma”

we should have remembered the house in Via Roma to which our host guided us. From the representative hallway led some aisles to a number of doors. I couldn´t remember the aisle to our door, so during our visit I went into the wrong room twice. Our host guided us through the house and told us that she had lived here together with her husband for over forty years. Since they allow their guests to bring pets with them, they left their own dog at the place of their oldest daughter in order to prevent possible tensions. She didn´t worry about the cats since they can take care of themselves. From our spacious living room we had access to a terrace which was part of a Mediterranean garden, full of fig trees, bushes of oleander and a palm tree.
Oil on canvas, 50 x 80 cm,

Piazza Solferino “Piazza Solferino”

we spent the day after our arrival on Piazza Solferino. The part of the pier between Via Roma and Via Santa Maria is called “Lung´Arno Pacinotti”. Alongside the narrow sidewalk, ribbon rails are inset into the road. First I thought they use them for the transport of shiploads. However, I haven´t seen any ships. I stayed at this place to do some sketching of the unique bridge pillar. Each of them looked like a ship´s hold turn upside down, with one of the bows facing in the direction of the square. Apparently the pillar must be curved from top to bottom, because I could not see any contact point between the pillar and the crosswalk from my point of view. The crosswalk seemed to float above the seemingly useless pillars. Since I´ve heard that the Arno is high many times during the rainy season, I assume that this oversized pillars are a necessary construction.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Via della Sapienza “Via della Sapienza”

crossing Via Santa Maria, where we bought the vegetables for dinner. We were carried away by the colors and only chose by looking at the colors, so we had to go there again and get some ingredients for our main dish. From there I somehow got into “Via della Sapienza”, the street of wisdom. It´s one of the streets close to the “Facoltá di lettere e filosofia”.
oil on cardboard and wood, 43 x 53 cm,

Doll's kitchen “Doll's kitchen”

Although the kitchen looked quite nice, we couldn´t find any clean pots. It looked like many of them have not been cleaned for ages. It seemed like many of our predecessors didn´t mind cleaning them. Since it took us some time to clean all the pots it was the main discussion topic while we ate mangold with potatoes and fresh bread.
Oil on cardboard and wood, 43 x 53 cm,

Pisa, Via Santa Maria “Pisa, Via Santa Maria”

Within the area of the Arno where we arrived on the first night, the street looked quite worn out. The trash lying around disappeared when going into the direction of the cathedral and the streets looked more representative there. This contrast inspired me to create two different paintings of house fronts. One with more subtle colors and the other with bright colors and a lot of white in it.
oil on canvas, 60 x 90 cm,

Piazza dei Miracoli “Piazza dei Miracoli”

Next to the Piazza dei Miracoli where the Leaning Tower is, was a narrow alley with a small café in it. I sat there outside and did some sketches of the buildings on the opposite side of the alley. During the many years that I´ve been painting I stopped doing sketches when being in a place for the first time. I have half a book full of sketches from Pisa which I use as submittals for my paintings. One of the paintings has developed from another painting which I did in the year 2007. I used the colors which were originally flowers and changed them to building fronts. The result was a colorful alley which had way too much building fronts in there.
oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm,

Bagno di Nerone “Bagno di Nerone”

this time I was more patient, before I went back to the place close to the Bagno die Nerone. A café which was just behind the area of the cathedral grabbed my attention. The alley was called Via Giosué Carducci and it had a small book shop in it which was called “libreria Borgo”. The tables from the café were arranged around a small fountain out of cast iron. When Gina, started to drink out of the bowl, which she only does when the water is really fresh, she remembered me of ordering a glass of water together with a coffee. It tasted delicious, which is quite unusual for Italy. Together with Gina I was waiting at the fountain, when I saw that this corner even has its own name. We were right at the Piazetta Ezio. There even was a Tabaccaio with some stationaries.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Via Venezia Giulia “Via Venezia Giulia”

This was the first street name that I´d remembered. I later on used it for a painting which was far from reality and influenced by my pleasant anticipation to the historical center of the city. This however, was only the first of many streets which looked like many other Mediterranean suburbs with its new multistory buildings from the late 1960ies, promotional signs and lighting of shop windows. When we grasped a glance at the Arno for the very first time, exactly at this road, I imagined how the river entered the Tyrrhenian Sea during the 16century, when Galileo Galilei lived there.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Parco di Migliarino “Parco di Migliarino”

Nowadays, the closest access to the sea is 7 kilometers outside the city. But we didn´t visit the closest beach during our daytrip, because we wanted to see the surrounding country. The landscape, just before we arrived at the signpost leading to Viareggio, was determined by alleys of trees and cycle ways that went in a square angle to the sea. Although we saw some signs that indicated a bathing ban, some cyclists looked like they knew a way that led them directly to the sea. We tried our luck on one of the broader paths. But when we ran into a group of cyclists waiting at a second crossroad, we decided to go back to the main road in the direction of Torre del Lago.
oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm,

Torre del Lago, Lighthouse “Torre del Lago, Lighthouse”

I should have known that the sand was hotter than in the morning. I had to carry Gina, weighing about thirty kilogram, in short stages. Whenever I put her down on a towel to rest, she gave a yelp and lifted her paws alternately. A man who observed our agony felt with her and carried her all the way into the shadow of a snack stall.
Oil on canvas, 50 x 100 cm,

Lago di Massaciucoli “Lago di Massaciucoli”

I didn´t visit the “Lago di Massaciucoli”, that was eponymous for the small town, since I wasn´t fond of the idea of visiting a swampland so close to the sea. But whenever I go there again, I think I will visit the lake too.
oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm,

Bluish landscape aroun Viareggio “Bluish landscape aroun Viareggio”

We didn´t want to be back at our apartment too early, so we followed the signpost into the direction of Viareggio. This is the place where the Arno enters into the Tyrrhenian Sea, and I hoped to grasp a sight on the river mouth. Since we didn´t grasp a view of it, I decided to paint a picture out of my imagination of a blue landscape, in which the river separates itself into many streams.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Slopy, roundbodies vase “Slopy, roundbodies vase”

as a reconciliation for the wrong accusation of Gina eating the cactus, our host received us with glooming eyes and showed us that the cactus is now blooming next to the breakfast table. Our host informed us that this is a very special event which only happens once a year.
oil on canvas, 50 x 100 cm,

Superficial view onot a building front in Lucca “Superficial view onot a building front in Lucca”

The visit to Lucca was rather short and superficial. I don´t mind going to a historically important city without going to the most iconic sights, because I think it is not about the things that can be read about in books. What I can´t read about, is the atmosphere there. Before my visit to Lucca I´d seen some paintings with buildings that all had the same color. Or had it been paintings of the rooftops? Probably they were pictures where one should see the city walls from above. I never had this view, which was portrayed in the pictures, but I spent some time observing how they built up the stage, which interested me even more.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Rainy day, City Bridge “Rainy day, City Bridge”

I painted the picture “City Bridge” exactly at this time. My paintings about Pisa helped me to bridge the long rainy periods during summer 2014 and September. Whenever I woke up, I felt like being in the wrong town.
oil on cardboard and wood, 52 x 62 cm,

Rainy Day “Rainy Day”

When I did the first version of the painting of the kiosk about 20 years ago, I accidentally destroyed it when I tried to clue it onto a wooden board. Within the same year I painted two bigger versions of the kiosk.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Next rainy day “Next rainy day”

while drawing the images of rainy landscapes, I planned a trip to Berlin and painted a picture of the arcs of the suburban train bridge in the run up. I immediately sold the first painting which I did of this motive. I don´t know why he chose my latest painting of all the paintings which I stored in my atelier.
oi on canvas, 80 x 100 cm,

Berlin, Hansaplatz “Berlin, Hansaplatz”

after my return from Berlin in august, I started with a completely new painting, with the same motif. I used the arches of the suburban train bridge and combined it with new impressions of my visit. I simply love the street my brother Wolfgang lives in. This was the first time I took my dog with me. I wondered that I never recognized all the rabbits hopping around in between the bushes on the way to Hansaplatz. Maybe because of their color and their calm behavior next to human beings. They even ignored the dog, which was quite puzzled by their behavior. I simply can´t understand why people throw their garbage into the bushes. The big forest next to the boulevard leading to the Brandenburg Gate offers a beautiful contrast.
oil on canvas, 40 x 80 cm,

Impressions, Dresden “Impressions, Dresden”

on my way back, I spent one day in Dresden, where I had lunch at the ´Schinkelwache´ just in front of the Semper Opera. On the one side I could see the Elbe, on the other side the art gallery ´Alter Meister´. Without actually going into the gallery, one could see some of the paintings which were exhibited in the gallery because they were printed onto big posters which hang on lampposts around the gallery. When walking through the city I suddenly realized that most of the people visiting Dresden had exceptionally big dogs with them. Next to the ´Frauenkirche´ is the ´Albertinum´ where I had to leave my dog outside when looking through the diploma projects of the students. Some of these projects where dog sculptures in real size, which could be easily mistake for real dogs. Only when leaving the ´Albertinum´ and seeing my dog sitting in the rain, one could easily tell the difference.
oil on cardboard and wood, 43 x53 cm,

German landscape, 7 “German landscape, 7”

on our way back I observed the German landscapes, which differed from the Austrian ones in their size and the straightness of their lines within the areas of cultivation. Although there is no superlative of straight, the comparison of the landscapes would demand one. When thinking about those straight lines, I remember the importance of a quick brushstroke when painting straight lines.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Rainday painting “Rainday painting”

at home I continue with the paintings of rainy landscapes. I had a hard time with the canvas because the material was too thin and after every layer I had to tighten the canvas again. The first customer, after a longer period of not selling a single painting, was interested in exactly this painting. Although I regretted the selling of this painting, I was happy because I could afford new fabrics. I donated the thin fabrics to the “Verein zur Rettung kleiner Wildtiere”. It took me many weeks until I finally finished the complicated paintings of the rainy landscapes. During this time the weather changed and I was in the mood for painting more Mediterranean and sunny landscapes, however, I used these days to air my atelier thoroughly and get rid of the acrid turpentine smell.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Bridges, Florence “Bridges, Florence”

Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge I knew by name, before I´d been in Florence for the first time. I only went there because my sister urged me to. If I´d my way, we would have spent the whole New Year´s Day looking for the car, which we parked in an alley we couldn´t remember.
Oil on canvas 50x 70cm,

Florence, opposite the train station “Florence, opposite the train station”

in the year 1999 I´d spent some time in Florence when I was waiting for a connection train. Opposite the train station was a McDonald´s restaurant which created an obvious stylistic inconsistency to the renaissance palace. I personally think that this is a clear sign that the Florentines are not stuck in de epoch of renaissance but modern citizen with their needs. Behind the grey and dusty wall opposite the train station I saw the front of the church Santa Maria Novella, which is eponymous for the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. I´ve been at the piazza many times before, because many turn-by-turn directions start at this place.
oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm,

Fortezza da Basso “Fortezza da Basso”

some years later I was asked to exhibit some of my paintings at the Biennale Florence. I brought the artworks personally, because I was interested in the process of creating such a big event. This was in the year 2003, so the first year where I got my dog. I had to take it to Fortezza da Basso, because I couldn´t leave it alone. In the bustle of construction work, no one noticed the dog. We had an apartment in the Via de Fiume where I was explicitly told not to let the dog alone in the apartment, not even for a short moment. So I spent quite some time in the apartment painting the first layer of many paintings. One of them was a side glance at the Fortezza da Basso. Masses of people went to the opening event and looked at thousands of paintings. I couldn´t hear any of the speeches because I was standing at the back. It was end of November and for my feeling quite warm. From my window I could see over the rooftops of the city where the pigeons left some clear tracks. When I leaned out of the window I could see into the atrium of the hotel, where huge trash bags were lying around.
oil on wood, 43 x 53 cm,

Via della Scala “Via della Scala”

the way from our hotel to Via Fratelli Roselli where the “Hotel Michelangelo” is located, in which the event took place, is easy to find. You just go through Via della Scala into the direction of northwest and arrive at Porta al Prato where Via Fratelli starts. Via della Scala is a single lane road and we walked against the direction of the traffic. I once got a keychain-compass as an advertising gift and I use it whenever I am looking for new places within a city. My travel companion always gets nervous when I get out the compass, but I find it practical to get an overview. The whole time I kept looking for the stairs which appear in the name of the street. But just like there is no river in Via Fiume, there are no stairs in Via della Scala.
oil on canvas, 40 x 60 cm,

Piazza della Libertà “Piazza della Libertà”

the next time we went there in April 2013 the navigation was easier. We went to Piazza della Libertà and after a slight turn to the right we were exactly at the Porta al Prato. This time we had our apartment more west from the train station, but at the same height. From the Via il Prato, where we had our apartment I could imagine how the area in front of the old city wall could have looked like. Via il Pratooil on canvas, 40 x 80 cm,

Porta al Prato “Porta al Prato”

on the day after our arrival I went for a stroll in order to look for the place where I´d been the last time and I was more than happy when I realized that just next to the Porta al Prato(oil on canvas, 50x90cm,2015) where we lived, passes the Via Fratelli Roselli. I´ve been there just some months ago and I therefore remembered the neighborhood. My first impressions of Porta al Prato during daylight inspired me for the painting.
oil on canvas, 50 x 90 cm,

Entrance to the hotel “Entrance to the hotel”

the entrance to our hotel in the Via il Prato was in the third floor. Meanwhile I know that it is common in Florence that the name of the hotel is written next to the door in one of the upper floors. It is possible that there is more than one hotel in the same building. Our landlord didn´t live in the same building so he told us to give him a call 10 minutes before our arrival. I´ve heard this many times before now, and every time I wonder how a stranger should know that they will arrive in exactly 10 minutes.
oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm,

Break dishes at Corte dei Principi “Break dishes at Corte dei Principi”

The two male owners of the café seemed to make a point in collecting all kinds of different dishes for their breakfast dishes. Not a single cup or plate had the same color or form as the other. They made their coffee in the same Italian coffee brewer as I have at home, which slowed down the process of serving breakfast. I immediately felt at ease and I particularly liked the idea of not getting a normed breakfast. They just served what was available. While some of the guests where eating already, the others had to wait for the pastry that was still in the oven. One of our hosts told us that he can forecast the weather only by looking at the sweep of the swallows, which actually was correct for the whole length of our stay. I always wanted to go there again, but whenever I tried to book a room there, they were fully booked.
oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm,

Via il Prato “Via il Prato”

in the Via il Prato one can find stereotypical renaissance buildings next to a specialty of our century. Just opposite our hotel was a vending machine where one could get a set meal with different kinds of pasta. In the building next door was a violin maker and further away one could read the sign ´authentic´ garage. Many of these signs within the historic center of Florence are just a fake. These are places where you park your car and give the key to the person in charge. This person takes your car and parks it somewhere. Whenever you want your car back you have to call one hour in advance and you´ll get it back. I call this a temporary loss of control, but the idea is simple and one can make good money with it.
oil on canvas, 60 x 100 cm,

Via Fratelli Roselli “Via Fratelli Roselli”

from the Via il Prato I only had to go through Porta al Prato to get to Piazza al Prato and into Viale Fratelli Roselli (oil on canvas 40x50cm), where my hotel was. The second time I went there, I could orientate easily and so I decided to take a detour through Via Bernardo Rucellai and Via Palestro to the Corso Italia. On the way I bought blue and black sewing silk because of the pure joy of finding this small shop for sewing supply.
oil on cardboard and wood, 32 x 42 cm,

Santa Maria del Carmine “Santa Maria del Carmine”

the next big square is Piazza Vittorio Veneto, where Viale Fratelli Rosselli starts again. On the western side of the city center the traffic is not too bad and one can walk through the streets easily by foot. The distances are quite far, but whenever I recognize a building or a street they seem to be way shorter than they actually are. During one of the days I walked to Ponte alla Vittoria. I didn´t cross the bridge because I just wanted to take a look at the place where I took the wrong turn with the car. The main goal for this day was Santa Maria del Carmine, so I stayed on this side of the river and went along Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci up to Piazza del Carmine, where the church Santa Maria del Carmine, with its Brancacci Chapel, is located. The building doesn´t stand out between the other buildings and the number of visitors is manageable, after 10 minutes in the waiting line I got in.
oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm,

Ponte alla Carraia “Ponte alla Carraia”

Starting from the square, I went in the direction of Ponte Vecchio. After Piazza della Signoria I took the route to Piazza Maria Novella although it was a detour, it made orientation easier for me. Back in “Corte die Principi” I continue my notes about the bridges over the Arno.
The next bridge starting from the Uffizia”” into the direction of northwest is Ponte alla Carraia, which, in comparison to Ponte Vecchio looks like a prototypical bridge. On the way to the southwest riverside of the Arno, I crossed Ponte alla Carraia, which I had sketched the year before. When crossing the bridge I noticed that on the other side of the Arno there are fewer tourists and the area didn´t look too tidy. Maybe even a little neglected.
oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm,

Via del Porcellana “Via del Porcellana”

from the other side of the square one can reach Via del Porcellana (oil on canvas, 50x50cm). I remember the narrow alley quite well because I was looking for a certain house number. I couldn´t find number 32 at first, but when I went through the alley for a second time, I noticed the small handwritten house number. Even the sign of the gallery was hand written with tiny letters. The event however was a great contrast to the simple surrounding. The members of the “Accademia il Marzocco” gave lectures in celebration of the Galileo Galilei´s 450th birthday, with cross references to the city of Florence and unusual transitions to contemporary art. Another group of those present were the art critics. The oldest of them was a lady who turned 90 the next day. She arrived with her Motorino and took off the helmet when we made a picture. The third group of people were artists from different countries, who received their awards. oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm,

Via Ricasoli, 2 “Via Ricasoli, 2”

on the search for Via Ricásoli, where we had our apartment, I got nervous because we had to be there before 9 pm. Some minutes before 9 o´clock we stopped to ask a passerby for the direction. Unfortunately I asked a rather snooty person, who instead of helping me with the direction, corrected my pronunciation. I had to repeat the name of the street like a school child before he gave me the right directions. Via Ricásoli is one of the small side alleys around the area of the cathedral. It may have been 5 minutes past 9, but our host went wild. The concluding sentence of his tirade was that there is no normal person who travels without navigation device.
oil on canvas, 43 x 78 cm,

Garage, Via Ricasoli “Garage, Via Ricasoli”

the man at the garage told me that he was an artist himself. But he added that it is impossible to live of art here in Florence. People coming to Florence only want so see artworks from the renaissance. I told him that almost every artist thinks the same about the place where he lives and that I was invited to Florence because of my contemporary art. He responded that this were only small events and that it would be much easier in the north of Italy or in Turin. He told me that there are many contemporary painters in Turin and that it is generally easier to live of painting in Austria or Germany. I told him that I would think about it. And it´s true, I think about it.
oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm,

In the seemingly grey of the side alleys

is the tiltle of my volume 6 of the catalogue Colorfull Waiting, printed in 2017