View of the exhibition "Two Dark Holes and other Stories" in 2007 at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Miami Miami (U.S.A.)
Klara Kristalova is a storyteller who uses the plasticity of sculpture to build small micro worlds, where something peculiar has just happened or is about to happen. Here she relates to a sculpture tradition that has its roots several hundred years in the past. Kristalova is part of the generation that acquired a higher artistic education in the late 80’s and early 90’s, during a period when modernism was seriously challenged. Her works, however, have never shown any tendency towards a programmatically motivated spirit of revolt. This can to some extent be explained by the fact that she is the daughter of Eugen Krajcik, a Czech artist in exile with an anything but dogmatic attitude towards the conventions of modern art. But this has even more to do with Kristalova’s consistent ambition to lower the highbrow tone inherent in most artistic expressions.
Kristalova steers clear of the rhetorical aspects of art, and instead deals with the small narratives, dreams and nightmares that everyday life is full of. She is drawn to an invisible part of everyday existence, to a realm where our expectations take shape, where neuroses bloom and memories mutate. This often results in her work acquiring a bizarre, slightly unsettling quality. Who would, after all, want to come face to face with the physical embodiment of one’s own inner demons?
Kristalova proceeds in a very psychological manner. She normally chooses materials (plaster, bronze, wood and ceramics) and proportions associated with traditional decorative arts found in environments differing radically from the white cube. This compels us to communicate closely with the artworks, thereby making it virtually impossible for us to recoil as we are overwhelmed by their significance. And significance and meaning are precisely what Kristalova aims to convey with her art. Here it is not a question of presenting prefabricated conceptions of life, but rather of creating the means by which the ambiguous nature of what one is looking at becomes a resource. A wall with a peeking man’s face incorporated among the stones, or two hedgehogs in bronze, involved in a strange interaction where the one is lying helplessly on his back and the other stands presumably guilty – as artworks these pieces may perhaps be visually neutral, but far from meaningless.
"The Meaningful Hedgehog" - Anders Olofsson