Henry Klein Presentation Synopsis
Henry Klein is a printmaker and art dealer who represents many printmakers from Eastern Europe. He is also a very good story teller and I found it quite interesting listening to him discuss printmaking during the turbulence of Eastern Europe and how their approach is different to that seen in America or Western Europe.
|Jiri Anderle etching|
In listening to Klein discuss art and his experiences, it is clear he has had a unique and more worldly perspective. He was in the Czech Republic setting up a show during the time of the Velvet Revolution. The show had to be put off for a year due to these events. When Klein participated in previous Biennials, he noted that the winners were always from the Czech Republic. He attributes this to the fact that many Eastern Europeans read books, and the illustration of books was taken very seriously. Czech printmakers would use these illustrations and their training from such projects to create large pieces that had an immense amount of detail throughout.
I also really enjoyed seeing the collection of “funny money” prints by Oldrich Kulhanic. The fact that Klein has one of if not the only full set of these prints was quite impressive. I liked the fact that the prints themselves were so ornately illustrated, and that they all had their own subtle criticism …the more you looked and the more Henry Klein explained, the more appeared.
|Oldrich Kulhanic lithographs|
There were also other excellent contemporary prints. Ingrid Ledent is a Belgium printmaker Klein represents with a more modern style. She uses her own body as a measurement of time and does many prints based around her own body.
|print by Ingrid Ledent|
My own personal favorite was titled The Parable of Noah by the Russian artist Nikolai Batakov. He spent a year printing this large work full of detail. This work is the style I find intriguing which shows how much detail and shading is really possible with the medium of etching.
I would say the event was more than inspiring. Not only did it leave me wanting to immediately go incise lines into my plate, but it contrasted sharply to the feeling of tedium I get when I listen to presentations about graphic design. I would say that seeing these prints and what was possible as possibly the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me decide to switch fields of study.
More information on these artists can be found at Henry Klein's website: www.kleinprint.net