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Emil Michael Klein

Untitled, 2017
oil on canvas
141.5 x 177.0 cm
Beyond his acknowledged inspiration by geometric abstraction and minimalism, Emil Michael Klein seems to be guided by a formal independence. In his large body of painted works, two of which are part of Collection Pictet, the pictorial language is reduced to lines crossing the canvas—approaching and moving away from each other—in such a way that they form a weft of varying density. Never keeping to a straight line, his creative process follows the contours and detours of an underlying, dark state of the world that reflects the title Darkotic, the name of his exhibition at the Kunsthalle Zürich (2017).

By transcending the feeling of repetition, his desire to start from scratch every time is reinforced. With either black lines on a bright background or lively lines on a dark tone, Klein treats the surface by superimposing pictorial layers, like so many imagined possibilities, rejected or retained. These winding circuits, with their clear or evanescent outline, act like mediums of a mysterious force, a source of powerful vibrations. Between intuition and reflection, his work does not escape the many references to the history of art, yet it seems to free itself from them. Lines and surfaces determine his abstract paintings, which are infused with visual energy just like the rest of his creations.
Emil Michael Klein, Untitled, 2017