•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
Saatchi Art
Saatchi Store
Current Exhibition

EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

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Karla Black
Expressions Are Hurting, Move Outside (and details)

2008

Cellophane, sellotape, petroleum jelly, paint, plaster powder, glass, polythene bags, concealer stick, lipgloss, hair conditioner, bath cream, tracing paper, glitter hair spray, lipstick

Dimensions variable
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Karla Black
Forget About Faces (and detail)

2008

Cling film, body moisturizing creams, sellotape, paint

Dimensions variable
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Karla Black
Causes Bend

2007

Plaster, sugar paper, chalk, fabric dye, towel.

34 x 330 x 210 cm
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Karla Black
Pleaser

2009

Cellophane, paint, sellotape, thread

250 x 200 cm
Karla Black’s work draws from a multiplicity of artistic traditions from expressionist painting, land art, performance, to formalism. Her large-scale sculptures incorporate modest everyday substances, along with very traditional art-making materials to create abstract formations. Black chooses her media for their tactile aesthetic appeal: the familiarity of the texture of cellophane or the scent of cosmetics bridges the experience of tangible matter with the intimacy of memory or the subconscious. Black’s process is intensely physical and this energy is conveyed through her work’s ‘impromptu’ staging; this suggestion of performance psychologically involves the viewer with the making process, provoking instinctive responses to her precarious assemblages.
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Karla Black
For Use

2009

Cellophane, sellotape, petroleum jelly, paint

15 x 356 x 300 cm
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Karla Black
Unpreventable Within (and detail)

2009

Cling film, baby oil, paint

59 x 824 x 303 cm
Black’s approach to sculpture is often described as holistic: her assemblages are more than the sum of their parts, each element interconnects physical, psychological, and theoretical stimuli which are both self-referential and relate to art as a wider-world experience. Her work absorbs art historical influences such as Joseph Beuys’s social sculpture and Eva Hesse’s organic minimalism. In Unpreventable Within, a large blanket of cling film is draped across the floor; a watery, landscape terrain, it evokes both vulnerability and protection. Coated with baby oil gel and paint, the liquid balms the surface and collects in its crevices as pools, creating a microcosmic ecology suggestive of generation and sustainability.
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Karla Black
Made To Wait

2009

Cellophane, sellotape, paint, toothpaste, hair gel, nail varnish, moisturising cream

304 x 748 x 3 cm
Spanning the gallery as a floating ‘painting’, Black’s Made To Wait hovers in the space less as an object than a screen: an almost invisible field of cellophane, a translucent divide or portal that makes the view through it seem strangely distant or unreal. The bottom edge of the sheeting is coated in paint, interspersed with common drug store cosmetics: tooth-paste, moisturiser, hair gel, and nail varnish, creamy substances of surface beauty. For Black, these materials become synonymous with a civlised veneer; an allusion to painting, as well as to personal maintenance and improvement, converging subconscious expression with actual embodiment. In Made To Wait these ideas become inherent, almost as an anchor, in the piece’s literal and metaphoric suspension which blurs the bounds between perception and introspection, self-cognition and otherness.
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Karla Black
Nothing Is A Must

2009

Sugar paper, chalk, ribbon, lipstick, glitter hairspray

312 x 300 x 182 cm
Black explains her haptic approach to making in relation to psychology, and cites Melanie Klein’s play technique – a method used to analyse very young children through their negotiation of the physical world rather than through language – as a contextual source. For Black, this sublingual articulation mirrors the sculptural process and offers the possibility for the work to achieve its own communication and agency. Nothing Is A Must is made from chalked sugar paper. It’s uplifted exaggerated form is like an open bag, made simultaneously monumental and flaccid.
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Karla Black
Preventable Within

2009

Sugar paper, chalk, thread

149 x 144 x 25 cm

OTHER RESOURCES

artfacts.net
Additional information and images - Karla Black

artnet.com
Various and images - Karla Black

galerie-captain.com
Representing gallery with full biographical detail, selected images and artist's statement

marymarygallery.co.uk
Representing gallery with wide selection of images and full bibliography

ibidprojects.com
Exhibiting gallery with details and images from previous solo show in October 2007
broadway1602.com
Project artist Broadway 1602 - Karla Black

galeri-burgel.de
Past exhibition images and information at Galerie Burgel, Berlin

axisweb.org
International archive for artists including artist's statement - Karla Black

scottisharts.org.uk
Karla Black speaking about her work as one of the recipients of the Scottish Councils awards for the Visual Arts

norwichoutpost.org
Discussion between Karla Black and Kaavous Clayton in 2006

the-artists.org
Additional information - Karla Black