DAVID KLAMEN: PAINTING PAINTINGS
Chicago: February 19 - April 10, 2010
New York: December 11, 2009 - January 23, 2010
Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce Painting Paintings, a series of 20 new works by David Klamen. Klamen has consistently set out to parse the nature of memory and explore visual answers to the question, "How do we know what we know?" In Painting Paintings, Klamen faithfully depicts iconic museum paintings in-situ, but subjugates them to methodological manipulation: sharp angles, skewed perspective, dramatic liberty with scale, and the ubiquitous inclusion of wall labels all work together to create a new, forcefully illusionistic experience of these masterpieces from the canon of art history.
Staying rigorously faithful to the appearance of his 'subjects', Klamen employs a vast range of periods and styles: Baroque masterworks by Zurbarán and Rembrandt are so heavily varnished as to be nearly obscured; the strictly horizontal and vertical lines of Mondrian take on new meaning as diagonals; and Franz Kline's postwar gesturalism becomes suspended in time. As catalogue essayist Lisa Wainwright observes, "Klamen culls from the most common range of genres… so as to usurp the entirety of the art historical machine in the service of a contemporary exploration of painting's value."
David Klamen's work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. He lives and works in Chicago.