In September, on a roll from my studio visits throughout the summer, I visited Gloria Klein on the Lower East Side. Klein lives in a large apartment complex two blocks from the East River on a stretch between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Her one-bedroom apartment, filled with a decade-spanning collection of work by New York artists, is both home and studio. The studio takes up most of the living room.
I’ve been a fan of Klein’s geometric paintings since the first time I saw them, well over a decade ago at, I think, A.I.R. Gallery. (One such painting is visible on the wall in the picture above.) Her razor-sharp compositions call to mind rapidly multiplying crystalline structures, which she has assembled carefully into a grid matrix, so what looks initially to be wildly out of control visually in fact exists within the exquisite tension of chaos and order.
I'm dispensing with the captions. Just scroll down and take a look. All the paintings are 22 x 30 inches, acrylic on heavy watercolor paper
In Klein's most recent body of work she has switched from stretched canvas to 22 x 30” paper. These are the works I saw and photographed, and which appear here. It seems that in the process of moving from a tensioned surface to the smaller and more relaxed rectangle of heavyweight watercolor paper, the tension in her compositions has also relaxed.“I paint a lot on paper now,” says Klein. The smaller workspace engendered the change in material, but she is careful to point out that the intent remains the same. “To me, it’s the same surface, the same concentration, the same hard edge.”
But the work seems, well, less edgy and more joyful, no? “Not joyful, playful. I wanted to relax the triangles."
So here you go: playful, saturated, geometric, a bit less tension but still intense.