In a kind of mini-retrospective, the Haas Gallery in Zurich is currently presenting works by German artist Astrid Klein from the 1980s to the present. She studied at the Academy of Art and Design in Cologne Köln International School of Design from 1973 to 1977. Astrid Klein first became known in the 1970s for her large-format, black-and-white works in which she combines found images and text. She has received numerous awards including the Käthe Kollwitz Prize in 1997 and the Cologne Fine Art Award in 2001.
Astrid Klein: Silence or Another Sound / Galerie Haas, Zürich (Switzerland). Opening, March 10, 2022.
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Astrid Klein (b. 1951) is one of Germany’s most distinguished conceptual artists. In her large-scale wall works, the artist often combines found images with her own texts or quotations from philosophy, theory, or science to illuminate repressed aspects of the collective unconscious and question conventional power structures and modes of representation. Her oeuvre, which includes photographic works as well as neon and mirror sculptures, installations, paintings, and drawings, oscillates between poetry and critique, skepticism and longing.
Klein treats image and text as visual elements of equal importance. In doing so, she not only strips the photographic source material of its narrative logic, but also endows it with moments of ambivalence and subtle irritation, engages sensually with media culture, and illuminates political and socio-critical issues. Whatever medium Astrid Klein uses, the viewer is ultimately always at the center of her work. Her works are intense and haunting, often triggering a surprising moment of reflection in the viewer – and a possible questioning of one’s own social constructs and the way one lives in the world.