David Klamen (American, b. 1961) is a contemporary painter whose work grows in conjunction with his interest in literature, theology, and philosophy, centralized around the questions, "How do we know what we know?" and "How do we come to know what we know?" Klamen paints both figuratively and abstractly, sometimes combining the two approaches by incorporating geometric lines or patterns atop his high finished landscapes. Klamen likens the abstract element to a fourth dimension in this setting. His work is meditative and quiet, engaging the audience with deep tonal values and extreme control, requiring the viewer to look more than once into the complexity of each work. In Klamen's most recent series, Meta-paintings, he focuses in on the vision of other artists and of the viewer, isolating individual historically significant works of art in situ, turning them on sharp angles, and repainting them with foreshortened perspective. With each iteration, upwards of twenty paintings are arranged salon-style into a large-scale multi-canvas installation.
Klamen earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in 1983 and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 1985. Klamen is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University Northwest. He lives and works in Chicago.
Klamen is represented in the following collections: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; and the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin.