Klasen, the critical seducer at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Peter Klasen (Lubeck, Germany, 1935) has opened a window so the Cuban public can understand (or dis-understand) what is known as "narrative figuration" by him and the critic .This summer showcase Obras 1965-2006 gathers 29 paintings and 20 photographs in the lower story of the National Museum of Fine Arts. This selection of his works combines images which seem to have the same making, despite their support and technique, because painting makes intentional use of photographic art and a pictorical composition becomes obvious in it.
To tell the truth Gerald Gassiot-Talabot, the Spanish critic was the one who created the expression "narrative figuration" in order to put at a distance the Warhol, Rauschenberg and Lichtenstein pop-art, on vogue in the 1950`s -1960`s, and the new emerging realist trends, such as those by the Spanish Equipo Crónica , the Italian Valerio Adami and the French Jean Helion.
According to what we can see in Fine Arts, Klasen formally moves along his way, from a noted pop esthetic to an hyperrealistic appropriation, in which, however, copying reality cares nobody, but to fragment it, to link it and to create conflicitive associations to be discovered (or at least to be intuited) by the spectator under the so attractive surfaces either painted or composed by the artist from photography.
An obsession to reflect the paradoxes of European developism coming from the second half of 20th Century, becomes obvious by questioning the sense of glamour, of speed, and of the cult for industrial design.
In such sense, his colleague, the photographer Johann Persson, described Klasen`s ongoing as an artist who "proposes his images, paintings and graphic works, with the aim to meditate about the world surounding us, a critical meditation finding the balance between the sensual and the industrial, between what seems agrreable and whet seems repulsive to him, between darkness and light, between bad and good taste, by proposing to our eyes the ambiguity of situations and therefore of each and every human being".
Pictures taken in Cuba by Klasen are also displayed here. Sincerely, it is the least consistent part of the showcase, although a wish to go beyond the merely testimonial aspect becomes obvious here.However, he stayed halfway, lacking both, the vigor and the piercing glance by that remarkable artistic tale he was able to create along four decades of work.