Anita Klein exhibition
Christopher Smith Bircham Gallery, Holt
Bircham Gallery, Holt
Affection for people, never sentimental but always warm, and a deep understanding of the human body as shape and form, without fussy detail, give character and strength to this show by the widely respected print-maker Anita Klein.
In Mother and Child, for
instance, the two figures fused into a single image, with the woman's protective arm encircling her clinging baby. The faces are simplified, almost blank, but the large eyes look out. They invite the viewer to share a sense of calm contentment.
Far more quirky but equally typical in the way it captures a homely moment, Nigel Winds His Propeller shows the artist's husband sitting up in bed and totally absorbed in playing with a toy aeroplane. It may seem a pretty odd little thing to record in a picture, but the aim is plainly to capture and convey a precious, very typical moment of domestic life.
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The vision becomes more fanciful, more poetic even, when a figure, usually a female one, is pictured with birds swooping or against a pattern of foliage. There is more power still when clearly outlined human beings are shaped to create patterns with the weight and solidity usually associated with culture.
Using a variety of techniques for her prints, Anita Klein generally finds black and white amply sufficient. On occasion, though, she adds quite bold colour. The results are most persuasive when restraint brings out the confident simplification that is the real sign of her ability.
t The exhibition runs until July 2.