Catriona Jeffries Gallery | Robert Kleyn | MAY 19
Robert Kleyn

Works 1969 to 1983

20 May to 25 June 2011

Opening Reception: 19 May, 7 to 9 PM

Catriona Jeffries Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of early
artworks (1969 to1983) made between Vancouver and Rome by the
Vancouver-based artist Robert Kleyn. Spanning photography, 35mm slides,
Super 8 film, collage and works on paper, the works in the exhibition
present Kleyn's distinct perspective and subversion of conceptual art
strategies circulating internationally throughout the 1970s.

While studying architecture in the late 1960s at the University of British
Columbia, Kleyn was introduced to Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace and other
artists associated with the university at the time, as well as becoming
aware of the information and landscape orientated conceptual artworks of
the N.E. Thing Company. In 1972 Kleyn, along with a number of his peers,
researched and produced the book 'Architecture of the Fraser Valley', which
has now become a key taxonomy of local architectural vernacular. During
this period, Kleyn produced the earliest works in the exhibition, a series
of line rubbing works on paper and drawings with scotch tape, which mark
the beginnings of the articulation of his own aesthetic systems using
available and convenient structural armatures, such as the roll of film,
the slide carousel and the reel of super 8, as well as existing visual
armatures such as the still life and pan. His series of photographic
sequences of book throws were made at this time, an example of Kleyn's
epistemological humour, as well as 'Stills from a tape to be erased' (1973)
a key work which articulates the artist's use of rephotography, where the
transferral from one medium to another enables privileging the idea over
the form.

In 1975 Kleyn moved to Rome, where he continued to make art alongside
working within art direction in the Italian film industry, particularly
with Roberto Rossellini. Throughout this period Kleyn produced his series
of still lives, present in the exhibition in the slide sequence Tabula Rasa
and the photographic sequences Lemon Table and Orange Dissection (all
1976). The artist continued in his ontological use of the camera via his
pan works, be them of hotel ceilings while location scouting in Tunisia,
his own desk, or the sky. Kleyn continually worked with the format of the
slide less so to produce an image but more out of an interest in its
material capacity as projected light, it's ability to project one object
onto another and the inherent sequential possibilities within its display,
such as in the key work Corners (1975-76). Drama and the unconscious
saturate works such as Dream Drowning (1977)and Faqir (1976), while the
corporeal close-up in Fixation (1974) the eye is considered at the split
second instant of revelation to the negative and vice versa at the moment
of taking a photograph. Over the course of three decades the artist
maintained a box of index cards, each card representing ideas via
instructions, sketches and collages. A selection of these cards is
displayed in the exhibition, indicating to the quasi-perfunctory action of
the formal realization of the works themselves. Kleyn spent most of the
1980s living in New York, extending his ideas into video and sculpture.
Since the early 90s he has been based in Vancouver practicing both as an
artist and architect.

Robert Kleyn (b. 1948) was born in Amsterdam and currently lives and works
in Vancouver. Throughout the 1970s his work was included in exhibitions at
the Vancouver Art Gallery; Pender Street Gallery, Vancouver; Centro di,
Roma; Modern Art Agency, Napoli and Contemporanea, Roma. His work has also
been included in group exhibitions at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte
Moderna, Rome (1980); Cabaret, White Columns, New York (1983); Art & Social
Consciousness, Bard College, New York (1984); Graham, Kleyn, Wall, Wallace,
Studio Casoli, Milan (1989); Vancouver in the 70's, Vancouver Art Gallery
(1989). Kleyn has had solo exhibitions at the Canadian Cultural Centre,
Rome (1988) and the Belkin Satellite, Vancouver (2004) and his work was
included in the recent exhibition 'We: Vancouver 12 Manifestos for the
City', Vancouver Art Gallery (2011). In 1993 he curated the exhibition
'Beneath the Paving Stones' at the Charles H Scott Gallery and as a writer
has contributed texts to Some Detached Houses (1993) and Ian Wallace:
Images (1989).

For further information or press enquiries please contact Catriona Jeffries
or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.

Catriona Jeffries

274 East 1st Avenue

Vancouver, British Columbia