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Guenter Knop on Women

Two good things developed because of Henry Wolf’s death. The first was the opportunity to reconnect with Roberta Chiarella, who wrote a wonderful and personal meditation on Henry for Speak Up. Roberta was senior art director at Cosmair’s Designer Fragrance Division and an early mentor of mine when I worked there.

The second was meeting Guenter Knop, a friend of Roberta’s and Henry’s long-time assistant. I love meeting characters and Guenter is a character in the best sense of the word. His main project for many years has been the female nude; not idealized women, but average women with a well-based awareness of their own femininity. All were discovered in public, and none are professional models.

Guenter’s work has great affinity with the history of mid-20th century photography: exploration of abstract form, dramatic lighting, and the occasional dash of surrealism. His ability to discover the sculptural qualities hidden in his models is displayed in his just-published book, Guenter Knop on Women — designed by Bridget de Socio and Kelly Redznak.


There will be a book signing on Tuesday, May 17 at
Brasserie Julien, 1422 Third Avenue (between 80th and 81st), New York City.
RSVP to (212) 831-3672 or gknop (at) earthlink.net
All Speak Up readers are welcome.

For me the wonders of Guenter Knop’s nudes lie in his observation of the forms and lines of the female body when he makes them flow into new areas. If in one’s mind, the abstraction predominates and comes into form first, and then the subject emerges and is understood, then the photograph is particularly exciting. When the abstraction comes first, before the subject is apparent, then the realization of what the subject is becomes that much more exciting. There are many such images in Guenter’s work and they are indeed captivating. — Ivan Chermayeff
I have known Guenter for over 20 years and we have been friends since he started working in my studio. We love simplicity which is our common denominator. I am very familiar with Guenter’s work and have seen his Shows. My favorite picture in this book is the Asian girl on the table (“Dream”). It is beautiful. — Henry Wolf
Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON May.07.2005 BY m. kingsley
THE ALPHA MALE’s comment is:

Happy Mother's Day to all.


The contrapposto of Guenter Knop's figures is amazing and reminiscent of the Classicism era. Where contrapposto, light, contrast and shadow tell the story and define meaning of femininity.

Many thanks to you and Peter Scherer for informing me Henry Wolf was deceased. One of the true Genius in our profession. In a class with Alexy Brodavitch , Willi Fleckhaus, and Otto Storch.

I'm constantly reminded of the story Henry Wolf told of not having a studio space and sharing a space with Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar.

He hoped and thought his friends C & G would offer him a partnership and they did not. He expounded on how Ivan Chermayeff juggled six to eight telephone calls without a secretary. With the proficiency of a Maestro. Never missing a beat. More importantly, never cutting his callers off.

Perhaps the greatest story Henry Wolf told was his first encounter with SAUL BASS. At the Art Directors Club Show, New York in the 1960s. And hanging out with Bass in ISRAEL.

...avin sighting.

On May.08.2005 at 09:13 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

...avin, it's been too long. Hurry back.

On May.08.2005 at 11:43 PM
roberta’s comment is:

lost and found.


i have to be honest and tell you that i have tears in my eyes as i write this-

losing henry wolf was a major thing for me- but i see today how much i have gained.

i appreciate your friendship and i am truly flattered

that you respect my work so much.

it the past few weeks-I am looking at everything i do creatively

with a sharper and more careful eye.i feel connected again.

thanks to you.

your feature on Guenter Knop's new book is so fitting,

it is accurate, funny and quirky just like Guenter.

he is such a good person and a great talent.

i am so proud of him for the accomplishment of publishing his book.

i hope it will bring Guenter the success that he deserve's.

On May.17.2005 at 11:58 AM
Michael Z’s comment is:

Finally! A book delayed for far too long. Knop's work is thought provoking and beautiful. His passion for women is without question. Knop has been working on his craft and style for over ten years now and its well overdue that he receive kudos for his work.

On Jun.06.2005 at 04:21 PM