DAVID KLAMEN: COMPOUND VIEWS
New York: February 18 - March 25, 2005
Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to present David Klamen: Compound Views, on display from February 18 - March 25, 2005. Klamen's paintings are in many distinguished collections, such as: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Born 1961, in Dixon, Illinois, Klamen received his MFA in painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. He is now a Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University Northwest and has been exhibiting with Richard Gray Gallery since 1993.
In this recent body of work, through the subject of landscapes, David Klamen presents a cross-section into his ongoing exploration of how we interpret things and how we come to understand images. These landscapes are painted in an enormous visual range: romantically realistic landscapes; veils of illusionistic dots that obscure the movement of waves behind; miniature windows of abstract, slightly blurred watercolor landscapes on a single page; a collection of canvases hung salon style on a single wall; and nocturnal shadow landscapes. Here Klamen further invites viewers on a journey of associations, memories and perhaps even a discovery of how we come to know what we know. These works, despite their differences, are related in their ability to slow down the process of understanding what is depicted.
"Comprised of objects that embody a sharply focused set of intentions while demonstrating impressive, often virtuoso painterly facility, a Klamen exhibition is an event that is open to a potentially infinite range of interpretations. The artist's arrangements of paintings not only invite viewers to ask big epistemological questions, like "How do we know what we know?", but to explore the parameters of our answers by grounding them in the physical facts of experience, which is always incomplete, shaded by past events, and shaped by whatever perspective an individual happens to be under the influence of. By presenting a heady blend of curiosity and doubt, Klamen's constellations of styles, subjects, and strategies steer clear of both certainty and cynicism. In our unsubtle, all-or-nothing world, in which over-simplified sound-bites consistently win out over the messy complexities of big-picture views, Klamen's multilayered art occupies an uncompromised - and uncompromising - middle ground. Allowing doubt and conviction to be present in the same thoughts, his ambitiously uncategorizable oeuvre makes a virtue of ambiguity - and makes human experience all the richer for it."
(David Pagel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times and Assistant Professor of Art Theory and History at Claremont Graduate University)