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b. 1981, Germany

Esther Kläs Biography

Esther Kläs is a contemporary artist best known for her monolithic sculptures most frequently made from concrete and resin. She also works in painting and printmaking, often placing all three media in dialogue with each other in her installations. Moving fluidly between two- and three-dimensional methodologies, Kläs explores marks and forms as records of the moment of their creation.

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Though stoic from a distance, Kläs' work is delicate in detail. She tends to use materials she can manipulate by hand, and frequently leaves traces of the construction process behind. In this way, Kläs' work lends itself to the history of action painting, in which the final art object acts as documentation of a physical gesture. At a distance, the sculpture la nuit (2012) seems like a plain slab of concrete, but on closer inspection it possesses stripe-like indentations; the texture looks as if Kläs gently ran her fingers through the drying cement. This intentional irregularity lends the sculpture a feeling of temporality despite its scale and solid presence in the room.

Kläs' practice may be best observed historically as a descendant of Eva Hesse's post-Minimalist fascination with the bodily nature of materials. Kläs' monumental sculptures tend to rest around human-height, granting them anthropomorphic qualities. The other day (2016) is a tall slab of Hydrocal (a gypsum cement) in a burgundy hue. The slab has two metal poles sticking down from its bottom side, elevating it off the floor in the same way that legs lift a body off the ground. The sculpture begins to hover between an abstract exploration of form, materiality and weight, and an imaginative narrative in which a cement slab vibrates with life.

Kläs installs her sculptures to work in deliberate conversation with each other throughout each exhibition space they inhabit. In HERE (2014), an iron hoop is suspended from the ceiling on four sets of rope while, a couple of metres away, a piece of rubber tubing mirrors a section of the curve. The two parts of the one piece speak to each other across the room, but the distance between each half allows the viewer to interrupt—or perhaps become a part of—their conversation; the artist successfully manipulates not only the relationship between the sculptures, but also the relationship between the sculptures and the viewer moving through the room.

Kläs first attended Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany, and then earned her MFA from Hunter College in New York. She lives and works in Barcelona.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2018

Esther Kläs Featured Artworks

long lines  (edition of 3 + 1AP; this is 1/3) by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork painting
Esther Kläslong lines (edition of 3 + 1AP; this is 1/3), 2020Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Fine Art paper
129 x 171.5 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
meat by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Esther Kläsmeat, 2020Pastel on paper, aluminium
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
Ser-O by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork sculpture
Esther KläsSer-O, 2016Bronze
150.5 x 170 x 15 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
BA/JJ (blue) by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork works on paper
Esther KläsBA/JJ (blue), 2013Monotype with oil based ink on paper
200 x 300 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
pictures by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork sculpture
Esther Kläspictures, 2017Resin
153 x 31 x 3 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
wild by Esther Kläs contemporary artwork works on paper
Esther Kläswild, 2013Monotype on paper
108.7 x 77.5 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery

Esther Kläs Recent Exhibitions

Esther Kläs Represented By

Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in St-Georges, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels

Esther Kläs In Related Press

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