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 presented in solo exhibitions at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2020); Falckenberg Collection, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg Harburg (2018); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2017); Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (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), among many others.
Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at Vancouver Art Gallery (2021); Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2021); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2016); Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2015); Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, Germany (2013); Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (1997); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (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).
Astrid Klein’s work is represented in numerous public collections worldwide, including Bundeskunstsammlung, Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany; Fundación ‘la Caixa’, Madrid; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Collection Falckenberg/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sharjah Art Foundation; and Tate, London.
Klein studied at the International School of Design in Cologne from 1973 to 1977. She was a professor at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig from 1993-2017.
She was born in 1951 in Cologne, where she continues to live and work.
Sharjah Biennial 14
Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber