Throughout the past two decades, Carla Klein’s work has explored the relationship between photography and painting as well as the layers of mediation involved in both creating and interpreting images. Using her own photography as a point of departure, Klein’s paintings push the original image towards abstraction in ways that reveal inherent flaws in processes of representation. Many works illustrate artifacts of the imaging process – white borders on the canvas suggest cropping, drips of paint reference scratches on the surface of the negative – which the artist describes as the “abstract consequence” of the photo. Enlarged from negative to snapshot, and from snapshot to canvas, her sublime landscapes become real objects, far enough removed from their subjects that they take on new and different meanings.
Born in Zwolle, the Netherlands, in 1970, Klein currently lives in Rotterdam. She studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (1988-1993) and later completed a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1994-1995). Recipient of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Charlotte Köhler Award in 1999, the artist was also shortlisted for Rotterdam’s 2012 Dolf Henkes Award.
Since the mid-1990s, Klein has exhibited her work consistently throughout much of Europe and the United States. In 2005, she presented an important solo exhibition the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California, followed by a presentation at Jarla Partilager in Stockholm (2007). Recent notable solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri (2014). Her paintings have also been shown as part of group exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami in Florida, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Denver Art Museum and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, among others.
Klein’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Berkeley Art Museum in California, Miami Art Museum in Florida, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, and Thermenmuseum in Heerlen, the Netherlands.