‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut

‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut

Claas Reiss presents ‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut.


‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut

5 February to 19 March 2022


The exhibition aims at giving a glimpse into the mind of a painter by bringing together paintings, drawings, artefacts, postcards, books and personal family objects by Krut, fellow artists and family members.

Artists in the exhibition include Jane Alexander, Max Beckmann, E J Bellocq, Lauren Bon, Matthew Burrows, Nick Goss, Ron Kitaj, Ansel Krut, Anna Liber Lewis, Neville Lewis, Rich Nielsen, Felicity Powell, Dillwyn Smith and Walter Swennen.

The exhibition is accompanied by ‘Possibilities and Pleasures’, an essay by Ken Arnold, formerly Creative Director at Wellcome in London, and currently Director of Medical Museion and Professor at University of Copenhagen. A walk-through of the exhibition by Ansel Krut and Ken Arnold is scheduled on Wednesday, 23 February.


‘I’ve never been one for possessions, for owning stuff. Perhaps it’s some kind of ancestral anxiety about the need to travel light, and objects are heavy, physically and psychologically. But some things that I have come across, had given to me, made, found, otherwise come into contact with, have stuck to me like burrs; paintings, drawings, artefacts, postcards, books, things my children have made. So when Claas asked me to do this exhibition, a glimpse into the mind of a painter as evidenced in the stuff they live with, I was surprised to discover how much I had actually accumulated.  Not all of it has been on actual display in my house or studio, much has been in draws, under piles of other things, in forgotten corners, but always there, always acting on my mind in some way. And when I bring them all together, when I become consciously aware of each of them in relation to one another I realise, with surprise, they form a “collection”.

In 2011 my late wife, Felicity Powell, curated an exhibition of charms and amulets at the Wellcome Collection, just around the corner from Claas Reiss. She prefaced it with a quote from Montaigne: “It seems like the soul… loses itself in itself when shaken and disturbed unless given something to grasp on to; and so we must always provide it with an object to butt up against and to act upon.” (‘Essais’, 1580). The objects I have put together for this exhibition, and it turns out be a very small part of what I could have chosen, are those things I butt up against for my soul’s sake, and which act on me on a daily basis in my life as a painter.’

(Ansel Krut, 2021)


Ansel Krut was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1959. He studied medicine for two years before switching to Fine Art and he graduated with a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1982. After a scholarship to the Cité des Arts in Paris he completed an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 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.

Krut 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.

Krut’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at Marlborough in New York (2013, 2016 and 2019), Modern Art in London (2010 and 2014) and institutional shows include ‘Verbatim’ at Jerwood Gallery (2014, now Hastings Contemporary) in Hastings and ‘Schilderijen’ at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort (2011).

His work remains informed by the years he spent growing up in South Africa, his art retaining 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”.

Writing in the Brooklyn Rail in 2019 Alfred Mac Adam said:

“Ansel Krut’s extraordinary paintings take us back to 20th century existential angst and its unending inquiry into identity, fate, and self-determination. His painterly style may seem casual, crude, and ludic, but this is work of high seriousness and deep moral content.”


‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut – press release

‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut – exhibition essay by Ken Arnold

‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut – works and objects displayed

‘The Art I Live With, The Things I Love’ by Ansel Krut – exhibition portfolio

Ansel Krut CV 2021

5 Feb 2022 - 19 Mar 2022
Exhibiting Artist: Ansel Krut