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Over the last ten years, Esther Kläs (*1981, Mainz, Germany; lives and works in Barcelona, Spain) has developed a distinctive visual language that harks back to the great sculptural traditions of the 20th century – including post-war abstraction and Minimalism – while simultaneously challenging contemporary sculptural norms. She uses malleable materials that can be worked by hand, including cement, clay, plaster, Styrofoam and resin. Kläs is a visionary yet process-oriented sculptor. Her works, which are reduced to as little as necessary to communicate, are close to yet removed from reality. The dynamics of objects in groups are explored, as is the movement of the body in space in connection to drawing and performance. Kläs often creates human-scale ensembles that seem governed by their own internal and external logic.

On the occasion of Kläs’s solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, her first solo show in Israel, the artist was invited to spend two months in Tel Aviv as Artport’s resident artist. During this time, Kläs has conceived a new body of work, which further exemplifies her focus on a directness of action through concentration by using the force and measurements of her own body. A series of large-scale oil stick drawings vary in shape and color, each taking on its own character. A multi-piece group of black clay works share the same starting point in their rendering, but lead to different ends. It’s not the big gestures in Kläs’s work that make us think and reformulate, but the persistence of what is in front of us. All the works will be shown in the ground floor gallery of the Center and have been conceived with that specific space in mind.

“Esther Kläs: Start” is curated by Nicola Trezzi.

The exhibition is accompanied printed matter in Hebrew, Arabic and English, a lecture in English by Dr. Daniel Milman on November 5, and an exhibition tour in English on November 16.

“Esther Kläs: Start” is supported by Dr. Daniel Milman, and Artport; additional support has been provided by Bollag-Guggenheim AG, Peter Blum Gallery, New York, and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation; hospitality provided by Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

An artist book, featuring documentation of the exhibition and with content in Hebrew, Arabic and English, was published.


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“Esther Kläs: Start,” 2019

View of the exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo

Photo: Elad Sarig


Us, 2019 (with Hadar Katz)

Video, installation view at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo

Courtesy of the artist, Petel Blum Gallery, New York, and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

Photo: Elad Sarig

Esther Kläs: Start

November 29, 2019

September 20, 2019

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