Klara Kristalova at Perrotin

”Flora and Fauna”, Perrotin, New York, USA, 6.9–22.10 2022

From press release:


Perrotin is pleased to present Flora and Fauna, a solo exhibition by artist Klara Kristalova, organized in the gallery’s New York space, and on view September 6 through October 22, 2022. The following essay was authored by writer and curator Osman Yerebakan after chatting with Kristalova from her studio in the hinterlands of Sweden.


Let the horse girl lead the way and the mouse man show the door. Then, the limbed tree will take the first step. The stage is set in Flora and Fauna, Klara Kristalova’s second New York exhibition of sculpture and drawing with Perrotin. The roles are cast and characters are entered; the make-ups are of glaze, the expressions, in stoneware. The artist is a ringleader, a conductor of dispositions in an autumn-breezed sapling- cast land. Figures—tens of them—claim their positions on the plinth, painted in blue-gray, a stage for a stillness that abuts eruption.


Situated across the gallery, Kristalova’s stoneware sculptures are dens of emotions, each figure traveling between senses ecstatic and indifferent. They altogether form a sea—a placid one, yet eager to roar— waving up and down in height and feeling. Those feelings refuse to inhabit the bodies but rather linger and swiftly desert. As petite as less than nine inches or grand up to almost four feet, they are both protagonists and observers, each possessing their being with a distance to the other’s.


Kristalova’s sculptures are born out of the artist’s four kilns at her studio in Norrtälje, one hour outside of Stockholm. Once born, they encounter the surrounding flora and fauna in the Nordic forest; the realization soon follows: their leaves are akin to those of the trees’, and so are their branches and flowers, and they’re animals, too. A nude woman is awash with leaves and branches in Spaljekvinna (2022), dressing the brittle arms like veins inside her skin, outer life lines that shield and govern. The woman in Still here (2022) is taken over by a tree that creeps all over her head. She is the shrub, a root grown out of the damp earth into a ceramic bust. Beauty (2022) has a blossomed face, once a bud that later revealed its blue flower; layered robust petals host a face in their heart. The expression is immediate but aloof, not unlike the rest of the body perched on the edge of the pedestal with one knee up. Casual like a Sunday morning, the posture has storminess, too, perhaps a denial of the cliff under its legs.



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August 31, 2022