As an artist, Kline continually explores the properties of the medium and his recent paintings take his signature use of encaustic into a new direction. In these works, his additive process becomes collage, the encaustic almost presenting itself as a man-made material rather than liquid applied with a paintbrush. The resulting abstracted patterns gain an intricacy much like honeycombs, made all the more complex with the use of camouflaged patchworks in various palettes.
These collaged surfaces can also appear in the other new series of works in the exhibition, the Hammockpaintings. In these large panels, Kline’s line of enquiry comes from a narrative referenced in Leo Steinberg’s essay “Other Criteria.” In it, he touches on the 19thcentury artist Thomas Eakins’ addressing the question whether painting and sculpture should have the same moral standing as traditionally defined manual labor, and not just be considered an activity of leisure or pleasure. The Hammockpaintingsare actual canvas service hammocks, some dating back to WWII, that Kline has collected over the years. Mounted on panels, Kline layers them with encaustic, collage and other objects of association, such as fishing sinkers, ropes and nets. The panels are charged with color, systems of patterns and textures, conjuring different notions and meaning in every viewer. Showcased alongside the paintings will be totems and baseball bats cast in bronze -- objects that can also be associated with leisure, work, or even violence. An illustrated catalogue with an interview conducted by New York Times art critic Carol Vogel will accompany this exhibition.
Kline has had a lengthy artistic career and his work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, to name a few.