Carla Klein : Paintings

“Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated. Admittedly, there is the primal shock of the deserts and the dazzle of California, but when this is gone, the secondary brilliance of the journey begins, that of the excessive, pitiless distance, the infinity of anonymous faces and distances, or of certain miraculous geological formations, which ultimately testify to no human will, while keeping intact an image of upheaval. This form of travel admits of no exceptions: when it runs up against a known face, a familiar landscape, or some decipherable message, the spell is broken: the amnesic, ascetic, asymptotic charm of disappearance succumbs to affect and worldly semiology.” Jean Baudrillard

oil on canvas
190 x 360 cm

oil on canvas
190 x 390 cm

oil on canvas
190 x 390 cm

Recently, Carla Klein took her show on the road, which is to say that a number of the paintings she has produced are based on snapshots made while driving (or, alternatively, while being driven, as the case usually seems to be) across the United States. These source photographs, as they may be somewhat imprecisely labeled, are of the variety with which many of us have filled our own rolls — hurtling cross-country down sparse, baked, two-lane rural highways, the light catching the pavement just so, each click of the camera an attempt to capture another overwhelming, perpetually unfolding vista, to document what it feels like to be there and there and there. (These instantaneously occupied, ultimately interchangeable, points of reference seem, at the time, completely, if ungraspably, unique.)

The landscape, so endlessly fascinating, morphing every instant into something new — somewhere new — is impossible to describe, so we do what we can to capture its flickering material likeness on film. Atmosphere and terrain are filtered through the windshield, that thin glass membrane shielding travelers’ skin from the elements while allowing their eyes to pick up every visual facet, every crisp ray of sun or moonlight. Never mind where you’re on the way to, forget the concept of destination. This is, counterintuitive to our usual goal-oriented tasks, all about the journey. Road trips may be understood as one of the last truly Romantic acts, pilgrimages whose end-points exist only in the middle and whose dearly held relics amount to little more than fingernail clippings: referring to but indelibly severed from their living contexts. [Extract : The Secondary Brilliance of the Journey Begins – Johanna Burton]

Carla Klein : Website

Carla Klein : Annet Gelink Gallery

Carla Klein : Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

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