Astrid Klein
— The Arts Club, London

Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club

Astrid Klein, Untitled (your mind is your own), 1979, Photograph based on a Collage

Astrid Klein, Untitled (corriger la fortune), 1988/93, Acrylic, quartz crystals, gypsum alabaster, photo, zinc white on canvas

Astrid Klein, Untitled (la tentation le plus dangereuse…), 1979, Photograph based on a Collage

Astrid Klein, Untitled, (insensible perceptions), 1998/2012

Astrid Klein,_Zeichnungen_1998

Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club

Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club

Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club

Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club


Installation View: Astrid Klein, The Arts Club

Renowned German photographer and collage artist, Astrid Klein’s large-scale black and white images, or ‘photoworks’, explore identity, politics and human tragedy. 

Klein’s work remains a reflection on mechanisms of representation, (visual) stereotypes and the power structures which guide and determine both our perception and our thinking. Klein seeks to achieve a new state or meaning to superficial representation in the media by removing her images from their accepted context. 

Taking existing photographs from newspapers and magazines, Klein subjects these images to various forms of manipulation, including enlargement, photo-montaging of positive and negative images, etching and stenciling over negatives. She then overlays and cuts in text which she has drawn from philosophical, aesthetic and scientific theories and incorporates with her own words, bringing the original image to a point close to abstraction. 

Stylistically inspired by the Nouvelle Vague film movement in France and the photo comic genre, Klein’s earlier works deal particularly with the representation of women in mainstream media, as well as film stars and political factions such as the Baader-Meinhof Group. The artist went on to develop a subtle, abstract approach in the 1980s, creating a complex relationship between the word and image through the manipulation of the photograph.

Astrid Klein lives and works in Cologne and Leipzig and studied at Köln International School of Design from 1973-1977. A prolific artist, Klein has gone on to exhibit globally, including solo exhibitions at the KW Institut for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2005), Deichtorhallen Hamburg-Harburg, Sammlung Falckenberg (2018), The Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin (2002), The Kunsthalle Bielefeld (1989) and the Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin (2002) among many others. Her works have been featured in many prestigious group exhibitions including The Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (1992), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1992), Weserburg Bremen, Germany (2011), The Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (1997), documenta 8 (1987), the 42nd Venice Biennale (1986), Sharjah Biennial 14, ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ (2019) and her photography work is featured as part of permanent collections of the Tate Modern, London and the Collection Falckenberg, Hamburg. 

Astrid Klein has been the recipient of a variety of awards including the Käthe Kollwitz Prize (1997) and The BDI Award for Designed Spaces (2001).

The exhibition is curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art.