Lehmann Maupin Gallery is pleased to present Sounds of Dogs and Youth, Klara Kristalova’s first solo exhibition in New York, on view 27 October – 28 January, 2012 at 540 West 26th Street.
A skilled and imaginative storyteller, Klara Kristalova draws inspiration from music, current events, and her daily surroundings to create figurative ceramic works that often mirror imagery from myths and old folk tales, and address themes surrounding oppression, anxiety and the sub-conscious. Exuding both an innocence and horror, Kristalova's uncanny sculptures portray adolescent girls and boys, often marked with exaggerated features or in the midst of transformation, and bring to mind memories of childhood fantasy, dreams and nightmares.
Through the medium of ceramic, described by Kristalova as having once been “seen as a low material, and not serious enough, especially when glazed,” the artist forms micro worlds with her sculptural figures and “relates to a sculpture tradition that has its roots several hundred years in the past. In this tradition the three dimensional artwork is seen as a means of three dimensionally ‘educating’ the viewer in a realm inhabited by both the viewer and the artwork simultaneously through their common physical relationship to the room,” as noted by art critic Anders Olofsson. For her exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, Kristalova presents new works in various mediums including ceramic, bronze, and works on paper in a setting envisioned to reflect the artist’s concept of an unsettling space. Kristalova has crafted the environment to create a surreal atmosphere that places viewers in a flux between a dreamy and surreal place, and an ordinary space where conversations and interactions occur. To achieve this effect, the artist has focused on lighting and has furnished the gallery with second hand furniture found at local flea markets.
Klara Kristalova was born in 1967 in Czechoslovakia. Kristalova studied at the Konsthogskolan Royal University College of Fine Arts, Sweden, graduating in 1994. She has exhibited internationally at the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden (1997); Site Santa Fe, New Mexico (2009); and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, California (2009) among others. Recent exhibitions include White Blues at Kunstvereniging, Diepenheim, The Netherlands (2010); The House in my Head at Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark (2010); Larger than Life, Stranger than Fiction at The 11th Fellbach Small Sculpture Triennial, Germany (2010); Luc Tuymans: A Vision of Central Europe, Bruge Central, Belgium (2010); The Magic of Clay, GI Holtegaard, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); and SFMOMA’s New Work Series (2011). Kristalova’s work is included in numerous collections including the Moderna Museet/Modern Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, Norrkopings Konstmuseum, Sweden. Klara Kristalova lives and works in Norrtälje, Sweden.