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IU Northwest gallery exhibit features art by professor, international artist David Klamen

Meta-paintings on display Nov. 5 – Dec. 7

Thursday Oct 25, 2012


The Indiana University Northwest campus and the greater Chicagoland community are invited to view Meta-paintings by David Klamen in the Gallery for Contemporary Art, located on the IU Northwest campus in the Savannah Center.

The exhibit opens Monday, November 5 and will remain on view through Friday, December 7.

Known globally as an artist, and represented by Richard Gray Gallery in New York and Chicago, Klamen is an IU Northwest Professor who teaches drawing, painting, fundamental studio, and art theory. Klamen also serves as Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Chair of Fine Arts and Performing Arts.

Klamen’s current exhibit embraces an aesthetic diversity that is directed by an expanding idea. This style is in stark contrast to the art world tradition of established artists creating works informed by a consistent visual language.

Through this concept, Klamen has created a body of paintings of paintings, or meta-paintings, in which the art is tilted at an oblique angle in space.

While Klamen’s art has respectfully reproduced the aesthetic and physicality of a source painting, the finished product is his trompe l’oeil portrayal. 

“This is somewhat analogous to a musician covering a song by a seemingly incompatible performer,” Klamen said. “Like Itzhak Perlman performing a song by Lil Wayne.”

“Since the subject paintings are tipped back into space, they are not simply a Mike Bidlo-style re-performance, appropriation, or forgery of a historical artwork. Instead, they work as self-conscious exercises in conflating two contrary concepts while bringing attention to the perspective of the viewer.”

Klamen’s painting of Monet’s Apples and Grapes (1880) is a prime example, in which his art rigidly portrays an impressionistic work, tilted slightly back into space on a gray wall.

“David is a creative genius,” said Ann Fritz, director of the IU Northwest Gallery for Contemporary Art. “He thinks out his work so well. Like in his Monet piece, one can see the gray wall and gold, gilded frame was carefully studied with academic firmness, yet the mimic of Monet’s original brushwork was a spot-on depiction, all while at an angle.”

An Artist, A Teacher

Select pieces of Klamen’s work can be viewed as permanent installations at IU Northwest, including three of his large-scale pieces found in the Savannah Center hallway from his Public Art Project collection: Learning, History; Learning, Practices; and Learning, Theory.

Klamen, a member of the IU Northwest faculty for more than 25 years, has collections in museums and galleries that span the United States. He said he finds a sense of balance through teaching the skills he has mastered.

“There are a number of reasons why I’m proud to teach at IU Northwest,” he said. “I like my colleagues and I like my students. I have a long history with this school and with this department, and I feel at home here. And, I don’t have to deal with art-world politics while I’m here.

“I’m able to just do my thing. It’s a good way to break up my routine,” added Klamen. “Otherwise, I’d spend 10 hours a day, seven days a week doing the same thing, every day. Also, it exposes me to a wide range of opinions and influences. It gives me some variety.”

Klamen has artworks in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

“We are very lucky to have David teaching here on our campus, when he could truly be anywhere else in the world,” Fritz said. “He is so dedicated to this campus, and our students truly benefit from his talent.”

The mission of the IU Northwest Gallery for Contemporary Art is to present an innovative exhibition program that complements and enhances the university’s academic offerings. Exhibit art collections are for study and research, and are also meant to educate the university community and general public about the forms and issues of contemporary and historic art from all cultures.

The IU Northwest Gallery for Contemporary Art is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The gallery is located in the Savannah Center neighboring the IU Northwest Bookstore.

For information on parking, please visit www.iun.edu/parking.

For more information, contact Gallery Director Ann Fritz at (219) 980-6891 or e-mail afritz@iun.edu.

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