Astrid Klein
CUTs
February 1–April 6, 2019
Berlin

At the heart of Astrid Klein’s work is a reflection on mechanisms of representation, (visual) stereotypes and power structures that guide and determine both our perception and our thinking. She combines existing visual material with equally important text fragments drawn from an in-depth examination of philosophical, aesthetic and scientific theories. Klein’s continuous re-arrangement, transformation and filtering of image and text elements gives rise to complex compositions that cannot be tied to any one, unequivocal statement. On the contrary, it is the viewer’s responsibility to find meanings and create semantic links within the works. They are provocative at the content level but not only; formally the works also testify to the artist’s enormous mastery of materials. Time and again, she questions the possibilities and limits of various artistic formats, whereby the potential of painting plays a particularly important role in her considerations.

The artist’s current exhibition at Sprüth Magers centres on a presentation of the CUTs (1986/1996) group of works. These collage pieces were first shown in 2018 as part of Klein’s major retrospective at the Falckenberg Collection in Deichtorhallen Hamburg-Harburg. Astrid Klein was one of the first artists to work with large-format transparent film; placing photographic and text elements in dialogue with one another in her typically rhetorical style. Her imagery derives first and foremost from an inventory of pictures that recalls a collective visual memory. By intervening in the existing pictorial material, changing and rearranging it, the artist addresses both regimes of the gaze and visual structures as well as specific mechanisms of representation. In contrast to her famous collages of the 1970s, the CUTs also place a certain amount of importance on the images’ spatial dimension. Astrid Klein uses transparent film as the support material for her collages, the translucent surface texture of which allows traces of the artistic working process to become visible. Still, the synthesis of light and material reveals more than just how the works are put together; it also appears to dissolve the two-dimensional character of the images, giving them more of a sculptural character. The size of the works also makes it possible for the viewer to see the collages from different perspectives depending on where they are standing.

 

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The collages are accompanied by a selection of the artist’s early drawings on display in the small exhibition room. These drawings, which have only rarely been presented to the public, are crucially important for Astrid Klein’s oeuvre and already attest to her pronounced interest in the collage technique. In arranging different materials together and mounting the drawing paper on aluminium foil, for example, or covering its surface with transparent paper, she creates different layers that expand the pictorial space. The layering process is a conscious formal decision by the artist that is further reflected in the messages conveyed within each work. Klein combines drawings, fragments of ideas, and literary and philosophical references on the paper’s surface, opening up spaces of thought in which political, theoretical and aesthetic considerations are placed in dialogue with one another.

The early drawings are accompanied by the neon work Untitled (insensible perceptions) (1998/2012).  Neon light has played an important role in Klein’s works since the 1980s. The artist develops sculptural light forms on the basis of drawings, in which the investigation of physical spaces becomes increasingly important vis-à-vis the questioning of pictorial spaces. In Untitled (insensible perceptions), filigree neon tubes combine to form an intricate body of light that bathes its surroundings in cool neon light. At the same time, the surface of the complex light body becomes the carrier material for text fragments, in which Klein uses references by the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz as well as the poet Wilfried Owen. Particularly these references to Owen, whose poems were adapted by Benjamin Britten for his composition of the War Requiem, play an important role in her work since the 1980s. By comparing these different references, Klein playfully expands the horizon of the meaning of her works. With this reciprocal interplay of text and light, the artist broaches the spatial character of the material as a subject matter while simultaneously encouraging viewers to question their usual habits of perception.

This exhibition of Astrid Klein’s work at Sprüth Magers presents contrasting works which, despite their dialogical differences, form an intellectual relationship through both formal orientation and content. With her work she casts an organising look at the present in which she finds herself, reflecting not only on physical, psychological and cultural spaces, but also on the various parameters that determine how knowledge is formed and how it is gained.

 

Installation Views
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Details
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Timo Ohler

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUTs
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, February 1–April 6, 2019
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Details
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1 of 13
Exhibited Works
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT I, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT I, 1986/1996
Transparent film
234.8 × 308 cm
92 3/8 × 121 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT II, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT II, 1986/1996
Transparent film
257 × 367.1 cm
101 1/8 × 144 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT IV, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT IV, 1986/1996
Transparent film
235.2 × 332.1 cm
92 5/8 × 130 3/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT V, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT V, 1986/1996
Transparent film
256.9 × 362.8 cm
101 1/8 × 142 7/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT VIII, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT VIII, 1986/1996
Transparent film
270.5 × 353 cm
106 1/2 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT IX, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT IX, 1986/1996
Transparent film
249.6 × 353 cm
98 1/4 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
CUT X, 1986/1996

Astrid Klein
CUT X, 1986/1996
Transparent film
256 × 353 cm
100 7/8 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (insensible perceptions), 1998/2012

Astrid Klein
Untitled (insensible perceptions), 1998/2012
Neon sculpture: neon tubes imprinted with text
125 × 354 cm
49 1/8 × 139 3/8 inches
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Kopf entleeren), 1979

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Kopf entleeren), 1979
Aluminium foil, ink on paper
42.3 × 40.7 cm
16 5/8 × 16 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.5 × 42.5 cm
21 × 16 3/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (für Kassandra...), 1977

Astrid Klein
Untitled (für Kassandra…), 1977
Tape, aluminium foil, pencil on paper
53.2 × 42.2 cm
21 × 16 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Transperancy foil, tape, ink on paper
45.7 × 34.4 cm
18 × 13 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (WONDERPILLS), 1979

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WONDERPILLS), 1979
Tape, aluminium foil, pencil on paper
47.5 × 35.6 cm
18 3/4 × 14 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil, ink on paper
53.1 × 42 cm
21 × 16 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (WORT), 1978

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WORT), 1978
Tape, ink on paper
53.3 × 47.2 cm
21 × 18 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1977

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1977
Transparency foil, tape, pencil on paper
49.8 × 42 cm
19 5/8 × 16 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.4 × 41 cm
21 × 16 1/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Retortenroboter), 1978

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Retortenroboter), 1978
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil, ink on paper
53.4 × 44.4 cm
21 × 17 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1981
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.4 × 40.3 cm
21 × 15 7/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Ungeheuer aus einer anderen Welt beruhigen...), 1978

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Ungeheuer aus einer anderen Welt beruhigen…), 1978
Aluminium foil, ink on paper
40.4 × 35.9 cm
16 × 14 1/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Adieu jeunesse...), , 1980

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Adieu jeunesse…), 1980
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil on inscribed paper
38.2 × 29.6 cm
15 × 11 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Europäische Konferenz...), 1973

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Europäische Konferenz…), 1973
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.3 × 41.4 cm
21 × 16 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.5 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.5 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.6 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.8 × 21 cm
11 3/4 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.6 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin
Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.7 × 21 cm
11 3/4 × 8 1/4 inches

Details
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT I, 1986/1996
Transparent film
234.8 × 308 cm
92 3/8 × 121 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT I, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT II, 1986/1996
Transparent film
257 × 367.1 cm
101 1/8 × 144 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT II, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT IV, 1986/1996
Transparent film
235.2 × 332.1 cm
92 5/8 × 130 3/4 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT IV, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT V, 1986/1996
Transparent film
256.9 × 362.8 cm
101 1/8 × 142 7/8 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT V, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT VIII, 1986/1996
Transparent film
270.5 × 353 cm
106 1/2 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT VIII, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT IX, 1986/1996
Transparent film
249.6 × 353 cm
98 1/4 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT IX, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
CUT X, 1986/1996
Transparent film
256 × 353 cm
100 7/8 × 139 inches

Astrid Klein
CUT X, 1986/1996
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (insensible perceptions), 1998/2012
Neon sculpture: neon tubes imprinted with text
125 × 354 cm
49 1/8 × 139 3/8 inches
Photo: Ingo Kniest

Astrid Klein
Untitled (insensible perceptions), 1998/2012
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Kopf entleeren), 1979
Aluminium foil, ink on paper
42.3 × 40.7 cm
16 5/8 × 16 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Kopf entleeren), 1979
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.5 × 42.5 cm
21 × 16 3/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (für Kassandra…), 1977
Tape, aluminium foil, pencil on paper
53.2 × 42.2 cm
21 × 16 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (für Kassandra...), 1977
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Transperancy foil, tape, ink on paper
45.7 × 34.4 cm
18 × 13 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WONDERPILLS), 1979
Tape, aluminium foil, pencil on paper
47.5 × 35.6 cm
18 3/4 × 14 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WONDERPILLS), 1979
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil, ink on paper
53.1 × 42 cm
21 × 16 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1975
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WORT), 1978
Tape, ink on paper
53.3 × 47.2 cm
21 × 18 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (WORT), 1978
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1977
Transparency foil, tape, pencil on paper
49.8 × 42 cm
19 5/8 × 16 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1977
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.4 × 41 cm
21 × 16 1/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1976
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Retortenroboter), 1978
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil, ink on paper
53.4 × 44.4 cm
21 × 17 1/2 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Retortenroboter), 1978
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1981
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.4 × 40.3 cm
21 × 15 7/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled, 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Ungeheuer aus einer anderen Welt beruhigen…), 1978
Aluminium foil, ink on paper
40.4 × 35.9 cm
16 × 14 1/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Ungeheuer aus einer anderen Welt beruhigen...), 1978
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Adieu jeunesse…), 1980
Transparency foil, tape, aluminium foil on inscribed paper
38.2 × 29.6 cm
15 × 11 5/8 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Adieu jeunesse...), , 1980
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Europäische Konferenz…), 1973
Transparency foil, tape, ink on paper
53.3 × 41.4 cm
21 × 16 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Europäische Konferenz...), 1973
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.5 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.5 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.6 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.8 × 21 cm
11 3/4 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.6 × 21 cm
11 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Astrid Klein – CUTs – Berlin

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Mixed media on paper
29.7 × 21 cm
11 3/4 × 8 1/4 inches

Astrid Klein
Untitled (Traces), 1981
Details
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Selected Press

Astrid Klein öffnet Bildfenster
Monopol, article by Jens Hinrichsen, March 12, 2019

„CUTS“ Astrid Klein AT SPRUETH MAGERS GALLERY
Black Qube, March 6, 2019

Scharf geschnitten
Der Tagesspiegel, review by Dorothea Zwirner, March 2, 2019

Critic’s Picks: Astrid Klein
Artforum International, review by Pujan Karambeigi, February 21, 2019