Ansel Krut employs deceptively bold lines and color blocking to totemize the symbols of contemporary global culture. His fierce images offer a view of our contemporary fixations with the self, consumption, violence, death, and ever-volatile social movements. His keen awareness of the power of symbols is born of his background. Raised in South Africa in a family that had fled antisemitism in Europe, Krut witnessed apartheid and understood the terrible irony of one persecuted people living amidst the persecution of another. This essential conflict lies at the root of his use of South African colors and floral motifs. He is, as we all are, aware and complicit, living in compromise as best he can.
Krut studied medicine for two years before switching to Fine Art and he graduated with a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1982. After a scholarship to the Cite des Arts in Paris he completed an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art, London. He was the Abbey Major Scholar in Painting at the British School at Rome in 1986/87 and then stayed on in Italy for a subsequent three years, returning to London in 1990. He now lives and works in London interspersed with extended stays in Los Angeles.
Ansel was a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art from 2006 to 2014 and he has taught at many other art colleges throughout the UK. He was an artist-lecturer at the National Gallery in London from 2004 to 2012. His paintings, which he has called “Cartoon Noir” for their scabrous, seemingly rapidly executed, and brightly colored appearance, remain informed by the years he spent growing up in South Africa. His art retains what Ed Krcma in a catalogue essay called “an unapologetic will to insubordination” with imagery that has “arisen from a ferment of intermingled sources: from the enchanted collective narratives of folklore, to the differently dark ruins of history.”
His work is in the collections of institutions including the Wellcome Trust Collection, London; Pinault Collection, Paris; The Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven; The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley; The Tang Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs; The Jewish Museum, New York.
2016: Cut Flowers, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, USA.
2014: Verbatim, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, UK.
2014: Ansel Krut, Modern Art, Fitzrovia, London.
2013: Ansel Krut, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, USA.
2011: Ansel Krut, Kade, Amersfoort, The Netherlands.
2011: Ansel Krut (solo presentation) The Armory Show, New York, USA.
2010: Ansel Krut, Modern Art, London.
2008: Ansel Krut, Next Chicago, USA (solo presentation) domobaal.
2007: Ghost of a Flea, The Drawing Centre, Wimbledon (publication).
2006: Hotel Vinegar, domobaal (pocket book, essay by Martin Herbert, story by Miles Johnson, domobaal editions).
2004: Lie Still My Beating Heart…, domobaal (essay by Rebecca Geldard).
2004: It could be suicide…, domobaal (publication: full colour tabloid newspaper, domobaal editions).
2000: Ansel Krut, Exemplary Tales, George Adams Gallery, New York.
1998: Ansel Krut: The Consolations of Orpheus and Other Stories, New Paintings, Jason and Rhodes Gallery, London (publication).
1996: Ansel Krut: New Paintings, Jason and Rhodes Gallery, London.
1995: Ansel Krut: The Life of Casanova: Twenty Etchings, Jason and Rhodes Gallery, London.
1994: Ansel Krut: New Paintings Gillian Jason Gallery, London.
1990: Ansel Krut: New Paintings, Fischer Fine Art, London.
1989: Ansel Krut: New Paintings, Fischer Fine Art, London.
1984: Ansel Krut: Paintings and Drawings, Shell Gallery, Johannesburg.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2017: Pharmacy for Idiots, Rob Tufnell/Tanya Leighton, Berlin.
2016: Theories of Modern Art, Modern Art, London.
2016: Painters' Painters, Saatchi Gallery, London.
2015: The Violet Crab at DRAF, David Roberts Arts Foundation, London.
2014: Feels Like Heaven, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel.
2014: Live and Let Die, Modern Art, London.
2011: The Tyranny of Grammar curated by John Strutton at Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton, UK.
2010: Art Basel Miami Beach, Modern Art.
2010: Newspeak: British Art Now Part II, The Saatchi Gallery.
2010: Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, invited by Fiona Rae.
2010: She awoke with a jerk, curated by Nigel Cooke: George Condo, Nigel Cooke, Armen Eloyan, George Grosz, Neil Hedger, Paul Housley, R.B. Kitaj, Ansel Krut, Sean Landers, RenéMagritte, Manuel Ocampo, Pablo Picasso; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
2010: Art Brussels, domobaal.
2009: We're Moving, Royal College of Art, London.
2009: BFAMI Gala Benefit and Auction.
2009: Time is a Sausage (A Show of Shows) domobaal.
2009: turpsbanana –part two, curated by Marcus Harvey and Peter Jones: Jeremy Butler, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Alexis Harding, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst, Merlin James, Peter Jones, Ansel Krut, Harland Miller, Tim Renshaw, Neal Tait, Covadonga Valdes, Galleria Marabini, Bologna, Italy.
2009: turpsbanana –part one, curated by Marcus Harvey and Peter Jones: Jeremy Butler, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Alexis Harding and Ansel Krut, Galleria Marabini Project Room, Milan, Italy.
2009: Art Brussels, Stand Projects/domobaal.
2009: Art Rotterdam, Stand Projects/domobaal.
2009: Voo–Doo, Hoochie–Coochie and the Creative Spirit, Riflemaker, London (publication).
2008: Frieze Fair, Modern Art.
2008: Precious Things, Keira Bennett, Varda Caivano, Michael Crowther, Adam Dant, Jeffrey Dennis, Geraint Evans, Paul Housley, Ansel Krut, Sarah MacKillop, Hannah Maybank, Zoe Mendelsohn, Mali Morris, Julian Perry, John Strutton and others, curated by Graham Crowley. (publication) Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland.
2008: Just World Order, Ansel Krut, Dunhill & O'Brien, Kim Noble, Tim Simmons, Jane Grant, Charlotte Ginsborg, Rachel Garfield, curated by Peter Bonnell (publication) Artsway, Hampshire, UK.
2008: Songs of Love and Hate, Luke Gottelier, Roger Hilton, Ansel Krut, Cedar Lewisohn, Audrey Reynolds, Rohan Wealleans, Ancient & Modern, London.
2007: Crystal Ship, Ansel Krut and family, Farmlab, Los Angeles, USA.
2007: Creekside Open, selected by Victoria Miro, APT Gallery, London.
2007: Drawing Breath, 10 years of The Jerwood Drawing Prize Award Winners, National Art School, Sydney, Australia, touring to Singapore, then UK (catalogue).
2006: The 12 days of Christmas, Philip Allen, Adam Dant, David Rayson, John Strutton, Mark Titchener and others, 39 Mitchell Street, London (publication).
2006: Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Art on Paper Biennial Exhibition, curated by Xandra Eden, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA (catalogue).
2006: That's What I Meant To Say, Ansel Krut and Felicity Powell, DK projects, New York, USA.
2006: The Square Root of Drawing, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, curated by Noel Kelly.
2006: World Gone Mad, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury and touring curated by Bob Matthews and JJ Charlesworth with Guy Bar–Amotz, Sam Basu, Varda Caivano, Jack Duplock, Ansel Krut, Bob Matthews, David Rayson, John Stezaker, Gary Webb and others. (catalogue)
2006: Maybe a Duck …Maybe a Rabbit …Ansel Krut with Jemima Burrill and Walter Swennen (publication) with essay by Peter Suchin, The Drawing Centre, Wimbledon College of Art.
2006: Outdoors, curated by Gerry Smith, Danielle Arnaud, London.
2005: Introspective Men, curated by David Kefford, London.
2005: Paper Beats Rock, Cherry de los Reyes Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2005: Arco'05, domobaal with Christiane Baumgartner and Miho Sato.
2004: John Moores 23, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (catalogue).
2004: Jerwood Drawing Prize, London, Cheltenham and touring (catalogue).
2003: Jerwood Drawing Prize, (2nd Prize) London, Cheltenham and touring (catalogue).
2002: Jerwood Drawing Prize, London, Cheltenham and touring (catalogue).
2001: Jerwood Drawing Prize, London, Cheltenham and touring (catalogue).
1991: The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries London.
1990: 10 Years of the British School at Rome.
1988: The Self–Portrait, Bath and touring (Arts Council).
1987: Artists at the British School at Rome (RCA, London).
1986: The Human Touch, Fischer Fine Art, London.
1986: 12 British Artists, Künstlerhaus Vienna, Austria.
1985: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
1985: John Moores 14 (Highly Commended).