CARLA KLEIN: CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM ST. LOUIS
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.