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Karen Kilimnik (born 1955 in Philadelphia) is an American painter and installation artist. Karen Kilimnik trained at Temple University, Philadelphia. Her installations reflected a young viewpoint of pop culture. An example of this work is her 1989 breakout The Hellfire Club Episode of the Avengers, which is composed of photocopied images, clothing, drawings, and other objects that reverentially embody the glamour, risk, and mod kitsch of the 1960s television show. The work exemplified the “scatter” style of her installations. Her paintings, characterized by loose brushwork, bold colors and "thrift shop paint-by-numbers awkwardness", are pastiches of the Old Masters and often incorporate portraits of celebrities. In contrast to the celebrity portraits of Elizabeth Peyton, Kilimnik, "blends together Conceptual and performance art and 1980's appropriation with the current interest in female psychology and identity." Her work is variously described as "sharp and interesting exercise in conceptual control" and as "wan and whimsical...Why does anyone want to make them? Why does any self-respecting painter ever set out to be feeble?"


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