Selected works by John Kleckner

John Kleckner
Untitled (Dead Bird)

2005

ink, watercolor, graphite on paper

15.9 x 22.9cm

John Kleckner’s ink drawings have something of the quality, in both form and content, of 1970s progressive rock album covers. Wild-haired men, like the forgotten drummers of once loved bands, their beards tousled into meticulous strands, suffer psychedelic indignities: decaptitated, noseless, they seem to stand for a kind of besieged heroism, subject to graphic assault but still dreamyeyed and maybe stoned. In Untitled (Faces), two floating heads (male and female) bob across the space like jellyfish, their hair entwined and entangled irredeemably.

John Kleckner
Untitled (Faces)

2006

ink on paper

16.5 x 10.5 cm

Kleckner’s descriptive line – both realistic and excessively so, with a focus on textures of hair, fur and grass – gives the image its air of amplified realism, which tips over into the graphic arabesques of Art Nouveau. These are characters disappearing into pattern. In another, untitled work, a decomposing human face deems either vomiting or being invaded by a sea of swirling textures: leaf-like, lava-like. The matter of the world itself, with all its complex internal patterns, seems bent on dissolution and decay; nature is an unbridled thing, teeming with destructive beauty, as in the clambering insects dismembering the title animal in Untitled (Dead Bird).

John Kleckner
Untitled (Hercules)

2006

ink, watercolor, graphite on paper

222 x 131cm

In Kleckner’s work, humanity is a clumsy beast at odds with its surroundings. Untitled (Hercules) depicts the mythical hero as dumb nude, excessively muscled and void of expression, his Michelangelesque hand tweaking his tiny genitals as though checking they’re still there. Though rippling with strength, he seems softened and emasculated, aimlessly striding through a no-man’s land towards his certain doom.

John Kleckner
Untitled

2006

ink on paper

6 x 7.5 cm

Text by Ben Street


Other Resources

the-artists.org
Modern and contemporary artists and art - John Kleckner

artnet.com
Art review – John Kleckner
Javier Peres had installed "Gods & Monsters," a group show of works by Folkert de Jong, Andrew Mania and John Kleckner.

peresprojects.com
Group show, LAXed: Paintings from the Other Side: LAXed: Paintings from the Other Side
Javier Peres is very pleased to announce the first group exhibition he has organized in his Berlin gallery entitled "LAXed: Paintings from the Other Side."
This survey exhibition brings together the works of thirteen artists who live and work in Los Angeles and marks the first time that this new generation of American painters is presented in Germany. All 13 artists will be in attendance at the opening.