2525 Michigan Ave #E3A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
February 25-March 21, 2012
by Sandra Vista
Chris Chop (oil on canvas) 40"x72"
Ocean Study #3 (oil on canvas) 12"x20" (sold)
Ocean Study #1 (oil on canvas) 22"x24"
Karla Klarin's recent exhibition at Schomburg Gallery encompasses forty years of her practice. Klarin's previous work at Schomburg focused on the architecture of the Ocean Park neighborhoods of Santa Monica. These paintings are looking even further westward to the Pacific Ocean. Klarin paints her familiar surroundings by using what she calls her "eccentric code". Klarin breaksdown the surface of the canvas into fissures of color that modulate the light and form of her oceanscapes.
There is an obvious connection with "Cubism" in Klarin's paintings as seen in the intersecting angles and the multitude of viewpoints that intensify the subject matter. Klarin has spent years studying the ocean waves of Santa Monica. Her paintings demonstrate her knowledge of how the exchange of energy between the water molecules creates an ocean of crisscrossed waves traveling in various directions. Each painting is fractured and fragmented into various intersecting wavelengths. The crests of the waves are elevated in some areas forming sharp edges. In addition, the troughs are delineated as deep space with a series of overlapping shapes and revealing layers of color. And also quite prevalent are drips throughout the paintings which exude Klarin's command of her painting techniques and her courageous use of color.
Klarin spoke of her influences of Aztec and Mayan ruins. She stated that in l970 she made a journey to see the ruins and was motivated to create paintings based on her familial neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley. Her signature techniques continued throughout the l980's when she moved to downtown Los Angeles and focused on the "ruins" of the city skyline. Currently, the reminiscing shadows that are cast and integrated into the Aztec and Mayan ruins continue to inhabit Klarin's paintings. The Pacific Ocean provides the visual clay for Klarin to interpret the various fragmented forms of the waves and imprint her inspirational journey.