MARCH 20 – APRIL 19, 2014

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to present a new series of dynamic paintings by Dutch artist Carla Klein. For her sixth solo exhibition with the gallery, Klein continues her exploration of the relationship between painting and photography and the layers of mediation involved in both creating and interpreting images. Exquisitely rendered, this latest body of work is the first in which Klein has explored the use of color beyond her muted blue-gray palette, layering reds, yellows, and oranges to create intensely vibrant and arresting compositions. Based on photographs from the artist’s archive, each composition pushes the original image towards abstraction while maintaining a close relationship to the photograph itself. Traces of the imaging process appear in many of these new works, and the use of color re-contextualizes contemporary digital photography’s use of filters, color effects and manipulation.

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Emphasizing the inherent flaws in any representational process, Klein’s paintings offer their own compelling and authentic visual experience, incorporating elements of chance and deliberate distortion of reality. Exploring her own archive of undeveloped film and old photos, Klein finds endless inspiration in the mechanics and materiality of the photographic process from the first exposure to the finished print. Klein embraces the over-exposures, any errors in the developing process, the first exposure in the roll ordinarily discarded, as well as rips and folds in the paper.

Gestural brushstrokes and stark stripes of bright color mimic irregularities and streaks of toner, that bleed and smudge into the paper. Klein replaces entire fields of color from her landscapes with bold planes of yellow and orange suggestive of stylized digital color effects. Layering translucent red panels of color over her muddy landscapes like a screen, this application mimics both light-leaks in film as well as digital color filters popularly used in photo-sharing social media outlets. The artist simultaneously embraces and criticizes such technological effects to create paintings that transcend and transform their original subject matter.
Varying from monumental landscapes to small-scale abstractions, Klein’s atmospheric paintings reference images taken from a variety of locations that accumulated in the artist’s digital and analog archive over the past decade. For previous exhibitions, Klein based her paintings on photographs that she took at a discrete time and place—during a road trip to the salt flats of Utah, or the deserts of Texas—but these new works represent a varied assortment of photos. As a starting point for this exhibition, Klein started to rethink the concept, function, and meaning of a personal archive as a result of the accessibility of photography today. Rather than amassing a personal photo archive as documentation of our individual history and private experiences, we now put great emphasis on the instantaneous snapshot that is immediate and fleeting. We become farther removed from each photograph because of the sheer quantity of images we are constantly sorting through.


SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 – JANUARY 3, 2015

Featuring such expansive, desolate landscapes as airport runways and sprawling roads beneath cloud-filled skies, this focused selection of recent large-scale paintings by acclaimed Dutch artist Carla Klein occupies the Museum’s sixty-foot-long project wall. Working primarily in her signature aqueous blue-gray palette, Carla Klein portrays what she calls “non-places”: spaces constructed with the sole purpose of being passed through. Typically associated with activity and noise, the scenes are absent of people, presented as unchanging, abandoned landscapes.

Often working from her own photographs, Klein explores the physical properties of film, embracing its imperfections. The artist incorporates her negatives’ scratches into the work, transforming them into painterly distortions that draw attention to the surface of the picture plane. The resulting effect is a sense of distance between the viewer and the landscape, almost as if we were looking through a smeared pane of glass. This exhibition introduces Klein’s recent implementation of color; notably, what appears to be a red curtain in Untitled (pictured above) further emphasizes the experience of mediated viewing. The works navigate between illusions of vast depth and a reinforced awareness of the picture plane—not only as a painted surface but as a perceived barrier.