Paul Kopkau

United States 1982


Paul Kopkau
Paul Kopkau
United States
August 26, 2013

American contemporary artist Paul Kopkau is know for his black and white figurative drawings and complex installations that explore ideas of lodging. In recent years the artist has made a shift from drawing and created a complex installation piece exploring the domesticity and the personal comprehension of luxury. By employing recognizable iconography like the Four Seasons hotel logo and a Clipart cityscape, the artist explores online housing market. Inspired by the contemporary idea of temporary domesticity embodied in the concept of Airbnb and similar networks that provide humans with the imitation of luxury he created a room of his own that reside between the urban shelter and a hotel room.

The artist creates away from the press in the privacy of his home
Paul Kopkau – Palm Crest & Suites, 2017

Paul Kopkau and Yemenwed Collective

Paul Kopkau is born in Monroe, Michigan in 1982. The artist graduated from the M.F.A. program at Rutgers University in 2014. He is one of the founding members of Yemenwed a New York-based collective established in 2006 known for employing the vocabulary and the conventions of pop culture to portray marginal groups and different notion of beauty. Inside the collective, the artist presented his figurative and abstract drawings dealing with fluid identity, domesticity, gay subculture and the marginal but also participated in group project and performances. The works of the art group often depicted a detached reality that can be also described as the reinterpretation and re-clarification of the present moment. These reinterpretations usually placed an emphasis on the secondary experiences that are dragged on the surface. These peripheral movements and objects are being rearranged in a theatrical manner and their details increased to take the central stage in the provocative artworks.

Paul Kopkau Got His Art Education from M.F.A. program at Rutgers University

 Kopkau's made the news with his wall mounted pieces
Paul Kopkau – Palm Crest & Suites, 2017

Paul Kopkau’s Le Corbusier Inspired Installation at the Company

Paul Kopkau’s work is inspired by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, aka Le Corbusier’s modular anthropometric proportion system. The system that used golden radio and human proportions to determine the scale of architectural space inspired him to create a series of mop figures that represent the most prominent part of his installation. Paul Kopkau’s mops present a reversal of Corbusier’s figures, meant to contribute to his ideal of the “radiant new city”. Instead, the abandoned mop, freed from the manual work, absorbs and even distracts from the radiance of the surrounding elements. In their reveries, these mops will never become dirty but embellished, dressed and warmed up making sure that they stay dry and away from the water and the filth.

Working with Art Professional in Yemenwed was a Valuable Experience for the Artist

 Palm Crest & Suites in New York city
Paul Kopkau – Palm Crest & Suites, 2017

Exploring the Domesticity and the Personal Comprehension of Luxury

Class references are also preoccupation of Paul Kopkau’s pieces, as the artist depicts people who clean hotel rooms and parks patrons’ cars embodied in the mops laying around the gallery space. Deep class differences between the ones who are visiting the hotels and the employees are usually portrayed by placing an array of mops around the exhibition space like monuments. The artist’s body of work was featured in exhibitions at The Swiss Institute, 321 Gallery in Berlin, The Perez Art Museum Miami, Rutgers University, Company gallery and elsewhere.

Paul Kopkau lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Featured image : Paul Kopkau – Palm Crest & Suites
Images copyright the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery / MuseumSolo/Group
2017Palm Crest & Suites Company, New York Solo
2015Swiss Institute Annual Architecture and Design Series: Second Edition Pavillon De L’Esprit Nouveau: A 21st Century Show Home Group
2015The Source Tranen Contemporary Art Center, CopenhagenGroup
2014HEAVY FLOW Pérez Art Museum MiamiGroup
2014 Empathy Sessions the perez art museum, MiamiGroup
2014The Source Screening IV Favorite Goods, Los AngelesGroup
2014OCD Monolith NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial Museum of Arts and Design New YorkGroup
2014DUTCH E GERM X YEMENWED Pérez Art Museum MiamiGroup
2014EMPATHY SESSIONS Pérez Art Museum MiamiGroup
2014EMPATHEATRE Pérez Art Museum MiamiGroup
2013No Image, Commercial Breaks Tate Modern, LondonGroup
2012The Source MOMA P.S. 1 Museum of Contemporary Art, New YorkGroup
2012A Fear Of Paranoia Various Small Fires Los AngelesGroup
2012Fuel For The Fire Human Resources,New YorkGroup
2012THE GARDEN OF EDEN Palais de Tokyo, ParisGroup
2012PERFORMATIVITY The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
2011Good Friends Asia Song Society,New YorkGroup
2011Skin So Soft GRESHAM’S GHOSTGroup
2011(Re)Move/(Re)Frame Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College,NYGroup
2011HALLOWED Santos Party House,New YorkGroup
2011No Image Olin Theater, Bard College, NYGroup
2011The Real-Fake University Library Gallery, California State University, SacramentoGroup
2011EAI 40th Anniversary Electronic Arts Intermix, New YorkGroup
2010Man Burning W/Project Space, New YorkGroup
2010TBA:10 Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, PortlandGroup
2010179 Canal, Anyways White Columns, New YorkGroup
2010Arcadian Nights Racebrook Lodge, SheffeldGroup
2010Bedroom w TV and Woman Lays w Aide MOMA P.S. 1 Museum of Contemporary Art, New YorkGroup
2010Woman merges w Car Jack Hanley Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009 Big City Schlechtriem Brothers Berlin Solo
2009Bedroom w TV and Woman Lays w Aide PERFORMA ‘09, 179 Canal, New YorkGroup
2008Yemenwed: Episode 3 Fake Estate, New YorkGroup
2008“K48” Benefit John Connelly Presents, New YorkGroup
2007Portraits and Polaroids Milk Gallery, New YorkGroup
2006Yemenwed, Thieves, Gavin Brown’s Passerby Gavin Brown’s Passerby, New YorkGroup