Peter Klasen

Peter Klasen Portrait 01

Peter Klasen was born on August 18, 1935 in Lübeck, northern Germany. As a young boy, he witnessed the bombing of his hometown and lost his father, who was mobilized in 1943 and reported missing. In 1955, he was admitted to the Berlin School of Fine Arts, then the most avant-garde school in Germany. In 1959, he was awarded a scholarship and decided to move to Paris. In 1960, Klasen painted his first "tableaux-rencontres", in which he contrasted cut-out images with their airbrushed representation. From the 1960s to the early 1970s, his work was characterized by a very distinct vocabulary: objects of everyday consumption (telephones, records, sanitary appliances, etc.), of seduction (lipstick and images of the female body cut out from magazines or advertising posters), or objects related to the body and illness (thermometers, stethoscopes, syringes, etc.). Klasen continues to use this vocabulary in a very binary way, constantly playing on oppositions.
In 1981, the artist spent some time in New York, where he finally discovered a mythical place that already seemed familiar to him through the cinema he watched so much. Certain aspects of the city's streets, which he observed and photographed, fascinated him because of their worn, soiled and degraded appearance, due to the numerous graffiti. These elements have since inspired him and found their way into his work.
Since then, Klasen has continued to represent the urban vocabulary of the everyday and the ordinary, developing an astonishing language of his own. His work can be found in many prestigious museum collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.

Artworks of Peter Klasen