IMMORTALS – new works by Randy Klein
GX Gallery, 1-19 September 2015
43 Denmark Hill London SE5 8RS
Transformation and Revelation
Identification not representation.
In looking at a portrait by Rembrandt, we care less about who the sitter was, and more about their individual humanness. We can identify, and this transports us out of our own skin and away from the physical technique of painting, transforming the experience into a revelation. Across centuries and continents, we are struck by the similarities. Here, after all, is a human being, no different from ourselves.
The impressionists said, ‘Don’t look for a subject. Take ten steps outside your front door and begin painting’. And so a picnic, a barmaid, an ordinary street scene – all are opportunities for identification and emotional response. And for the cubists, the subject of painting was not the royal family but a newspaper and a packet of cigarettes on the table before us. These were enough to transport us out of our own bodies and into an experience. The use of collage which those same cubists employed, was a further development of using the everyday to leap into the immediacy of experience.
I believe this transformative experience is the real subject of art. For this reason, it matters little whether a work is representational or abstract. And in the same way, the division between sculpture and painting seems artificial.
In this new exhibition, I am presenting recent sculptures, paintings, and relief works.
In my paintings, my aim is to share particular moments. It is not the technique, or the abundance of detail, or the specific place which is the subject. Rather it is that unique moment where something you see stops you in your tracks. And momentarily transports you. Something about this particular time and place deepens inside of you and becomes more than what is before you. No longer a beautiful landscape or an evocative night in the city, but a trigger for a deeper moment of reflection. It is this revelatory experience which I seek to share in these paintings, and the physical presence and sculptural quality of these paintings is a large part of it.
It is in the search for this moment of reflection that the paintings with figures have opened out to become relief works. The space created between the represented space and the figures is a place our minds can travel to. It is a space where this transference can take hold. For me these relief pieces have a particular emotional veracity, which is linked to this spatial openness.
Transparency in Sculpture
The sculptures, like the wall pieces, are representational. But not in an attempt to portray an individual person. The figure is generalised and made open, allowing us to get under the skin. They represent an inside and an outside at the same time.
A single figure is pierced and unified by many figures, or by many separate moments, just as many people and moments form part of us – part of our thoughts and lives. They speak of the interrelatedness of all things
These are the Immortals. Like the many gods of antiquity, they broaden our lives and interact with us. They show us both the relatively fleeting nature of our lives, and at the same time reveal our constant interaction with elements of eternity. These are special moments, those times when we rise above our daily cares and experince transcendence.