Klara Kristalova (b. 1967, Czechoslovakia; lives and works in Norrtälje, Sweden) creates figurative sculpture, influenced by myths and fairy tales that recall childhood fantasy and nightmares. Exuding both innocence and horror, many of her works are based on the human body, taking on hybrid forms that incorporate aspects of nature—animals, insects, flowers, and trees. The ambiguity of the origin of the figure creates an open narrative that the viewer is invited to dictate or complete. Kristalova's figures are often depicted in the midst of transformation and thus exist in the liminal space between two physical or psychological states. They illustrate binaries such as innocence and danger, perfection and deformation, joy and despair, good and evil, masculine and feminine. The age of adolescence is of particular interest to the artist as a significant period of human transformation and growth, both physically and psychologically, when innocence and freedom are lost to societal pressures and decisions are made that impact the direction of one's future. Though Kristalova is primarily a sculptor, she also creates drawings, watercolors, and collages that allow her to fully investigate her sculptural forms.
Kristalova studied at the Royal University College of Fine Art, Stockholm. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at Galerie Perrotin, New York, NY (2022); Norrtälje Konsthall, Norrtälje, Sweden (2022); Galerie Perrotin, Seoul, Korea (2021); Carl Eldh’s Studio Museum, Stockholm, Sweden (2021); Lidkopings Konsthall, Lidkoping, Sweden (2020); Galerie Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden (2020); Kunstforeningen, GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017); Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL (2014); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2012); Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Gothenburg, Sweden (2012); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2011); and SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM (2009). Select group exhibitions featuring her work include Beyond the looking glass, United Talent Agency (UTA), Los Angeles, CA (2021); Du Cheval a l’oeuvre, Haras National du Pin, Le Pin-au-Haras, France (2021); ART ZUID Amsterdam Sculptuur Biennale, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2021); Human After All, The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, the Nertherlands (2020); In the Name of Flower, Pearl Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2020); Signature women, Artipelag, Stockholm, Sweden (2020); Tant le moindre de mes atomes t’appartient intimement: Oeuvres choisies de la Collection Bailey, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montréal, Canada (2019); Shades of Existence, Teckningsmuseet, Laholm, Sweden (2019); Klara Kristalova, Marten Medbo, Per B Sundberg, Steneby Konsthall, Dals Langed, Sweden (2019); Figures de l’Animal, Abbaye Saint-Andre/Centre d’art Contemporain, Meymac, France (2019); Yellow Creature, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland (2017); Les imaginaires d’un monde in-tranquille, Abbaye Saint-Andre/Centre d’art Contemporain, Meymac, France (2017); Taskashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection, Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan (2017); Sisters of the Moon, KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY (2016); In Search of the Present, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki, Finland (2016); NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (2015).
Kristalova’s work is included in numerous international public and private collections, including Bror Hjorths Hus, Uppsala, Sweden; The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), Espoo, Finland; Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (FNAC), Paris, France; Me Collectors Room, Olbricht Collection, Berlin, Germany; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden; Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköping, Sweden; Norrtälje Kommun, Norrtälje, Sweden; The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; and NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Ordrupgaard Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; Skövde Konstmuseum, Skövde, Sweden; Statens Konstråd, Stockholm, Sweden; Sundsvalls Konstmuseum, Sundsvall, Sweden; Västerås Konstmuseum, Västerås, Sweden; Yoshitomo Nara: N's Yard, Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan; and the Zabludowicz Collection, London, United Kingdom.