Peter Klasen

Peter Klasen

In 1955, in Berlin, he began his work in lithography and the use of airbrushes, in an environment where professors trained in the Bauhaus and German Expressionism predominated.

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

Peter Klasen P55

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

(*)“Nouvelle Figuration”, artistic movement of transition from the “hegemonic abstraction” of the 50s, to a “narrative figuration”.

The "Larousse" Encyclopedia defines this movement as follows:

Contrairement au mouvement Cobra, or au Nouveau Réalisme, la Nouvelle Figuration n'a never été un mouvement coherent, more corresponding its element to une certaine vision contemporaine de l'homme. In Europe, comme aux États-Unis, elle fait suite vers 1960 à la peinture informelle et gestuelle, dont elle certains de ses principes d'écriture picturale libre. Picasso, avec ses systématic deformations, 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 damages un traitement spontané de la couleur, de la matière et à l'exclusion de toute ressemblance littérale.


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