Who was the German pop artist Peter Klasen?

Quem foi o artista alemão pop Peter Klasen?

In 1955, in Berlin, he started lithography and the use of the airbrush, in an environment in which professors trained in the Bauhaus and in German Expressionism predominated.

In 1962, in Paris, he is one of the founders of the self-styled movement “Nouvelle Figuration” (*) also called “Narrative Figuration”, of which Erró is a member, among others. In 1966, he held his first individual exhibition in that city. In 1985, he settled in Vincenes, in a disused factory that he transformed into a studio and home.

Peter Klasen P55

In the early 60s, from his airbrush works using cellulosic paint on canvas with collages of different materials, he evolved into figurations which he called “tableaux binaires”. From 1974 he began to work on themes linked to the concept of incarceration and the Holocaust. On large canvases, it depicts the cargo boxes of trucks, chains, grids, wagons, with signs of numbers associated with codes and danger warnings. In the 1980s, he reproduced the graffiti that covered the Berlin Wall on canvas. In 1990, inspired by the film by Samuel Fuller - “Shock Corridor” (1963) - Klasen builds an installation he named “Shock Corridor/Dead End”, exploring worlds of physical and psychiatric confinement. In 1997, he uses numerical printing techniques, in large-scale collages to which neon shapes and objects are superimposed. In 2009, his interpretation of the “death machine” described by Kafka in his book In der Strafkolonie (“Na Colónia Penal” - 1919) accentuating the negative man/machine tension literarily treated in the reference work.

(*) “Nouvelle Figuration”, an artistic movement in transition from the “hegemonic abstraction” of the 1950s to a “narrative figuration”.

The Encyclopedia “Larousse” defines this movement as follows:

Contrairement au mouvement Cobra, ou au Nouveau Réalisme, la Nouvelle Figuration n'a Nunca été un mouvement cohérent, but corresponds seulement à une certaine vision contemporaine de l'homme. En Europe, comme aux États-Unis, elle fait suite vers 1960 à la peinture informelle et gestuelle, dont elle take certains de ses principes d'écriture picturale libre. Picasso, avec ses déformations systématiques, Soutine, Rouault, les expressionnistes allemands, plus récemment Fautrier et Dubuffet en sont les précurseurs. La Nouvelle Figuration s'adresse à certains thèmes précis, l'homme et sa vie onirique, réalité qui s'insère dans un traitement spontané de la couleur, de la matière et à l'exclusion de toute ressemblance littérale.

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