Photo by: Conte Nikos Araldi di Piadena


Astrid Klein is best known for her large-format black and white ‘photoworks’, collages, paintings and neon sculptures. Since the 1970s she has combined found photographic images and textual excerpts with drawn and painted elements to produce striking artworks. Purity and elegance are coupled with a seismographic sensitivity for critical contemporary issues such as the role of women in society, notions of success and failure, or wider themes of remembering and forgetting, time and transience. Reflecting her wide-ranging interests in literature, film, philosophy, perception theory and neuroscience, Klein’s artworks open up aesthetic and intellectual realms for viewers to experience and explore. Her oeuvre, which is noted for its ‘cool’ aesthetic, intellectual acuity and emotional intensity, encompasses paintings, collages, neon sculptures, mirror works, transparencies and Schriftbilder from more than four decades of artistic practice.

Klein’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Falckenberg Collection, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg Harburg (2018); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2017); Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania (2003); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2002); Neues Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, Nuremberg, Germany (2001); Saarland Museum, Saarbrücken, Germany (1994); Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg (1994); Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (1991); Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (1989); Kestnergesellschaft Hanover, Germany (1989); ICA, London (1989); Secession, Vienna (1989) and Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria (1989), among many others.

Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at institutions such as Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2016); Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2015); Städische Galerie Karlsruhe, Germany (2013); Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (1997); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US (1992); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1992); Tate Gallery, London (1987) and Messehallen Düsseldorf (1984). She also participated in documenta 8, Kassel (1987), 6th Sydney Biennale (1986) and 42nd Venice Biennale (1986).

Klein studied at Köln International School of Design, Cologne from 1973 to 1977. She was born in 1951 in Cologne, where she continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

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Klein, Astrid

Astrid Klein: Various Works (1987–1998)

Astrid Klein is best known for her large-format black and white ‘photoworks’—composite images comprised of magazine and newspaper photographs subjected to different printing and processing techniques in the darkroom.