Carla Klein

Untitled (2023), oil on canvas, 170 x 290 cm, Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

Carla Klein paints spaces and areas without people. In often large oil paintings she explores and bends our perception of reality. KM21 presents new and recent work by Klein in her first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands.

As a starting point for her canvases, Carla Klein uses photos she takes during her travels. While she based previous work on unique analogue photographs, in new paintings she starts from easily reproducible prints. Not the image, but the actual print forms the basis for the final work. Stains, ink that runs out or printing paper that is unsuitable – Klein includes all these technical traces in her manual translation into paint. As such, the human and the mechanical come together in every painting.

Klein always looks for a certain kind of emptiness, an anonymous and timeless space that cannot be specifically traced. She feels attracted by the abstraction of a landscape, from transitional spaces such as airports and empty highways to desolate desert areas. She is intrigued by the way the same spot can appear flat and deep at the same time. When daily life was forced to come to a standstill in recent years, Klein started to focus on the stagnant environment around her home and studio. This blurs the boundary between the outside and inside world.

From reality to photo to painting: the layered landscapes are not immediately fathomable. Yet they manage to completely envelop the viewer. Balancing between the physicality of paint and the illusion of the image, Klein plays with depicting reality.

Carla Klein (NL, 1970) lives and works in Rotterdam. She studied at the KABK in The Hague and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Previous solo exhibitions have taken place at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis and Berkeley Art Museum, USA.


In Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Carla Klein's Untitled (2019) is on display in Discover the Modern (on the first floor). The series of twenty small paintings depicts a walk around a volcano.

A film portrait of Carla Klein was made in the Dutch Masters series. To watch: Hollandse Meesters - Carla Klein

The opening is on the 9th of february and is free for everyone to attend. You can register via this link.

Untitled (2023), oil on canvas, 170 x 290 cm, Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

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