“Will Klemm: Box of Light” at Wally Workman Gallery

The artist illuminates our world’s defining shadows with an oil-based glow


Summer Storm by Will Klemm

"My intention is to communicate something abstract and interior," says Will Klemm, "while still referencing our everyday lives."

That intention: It's something a writer, even one who trucks in journalism, can relate to. But then, it's probably true for all of us humans, isn't it? And talk, they say, is cheap.

The Austin-based Klemm has been accomplishing that intention and showing the results since 1993, his atmospheric oils on canvas displayed in more than 50 solo shows across the nation from then until now. This newest show, "Box of Light," illuminates the interior of West Sixth's elegant Wally Workman Gallery with Klemm's iconic landscapes and rural tableaux, the scenes of life and its settings – sometimes flourishing, sometimes sere – captured in technique-forward instances of workmanship, the artist's careful brushstrokes often adding a rhythm to the apprehension of light and shadow that blossoms quickly within a viewer's mind and eventually seeds new fields of memory.

Some of these vistas so richly evoked seem, even if we've never seen them before, achingly familiar – like places encountered in dreams, in moody fantasies. (You know that Blade Runner sequel? Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049? If that palette of color and texture, that atmosphere, had been used to depict the more rustic parts of our present, and the replicants replaced with cowboys, say ... well, there's more than one way of inserting memory into a thinking being's head, isn't there?)

These paintings of Klemm's that deepen every wall they adorn are beautifully rendered boxes of light within the bigger series of lightboxes that comprise the Workman Gallery's classic architecture, these painterly images the binding in pigment of our ultimately unboxable interior and exterior expanses. This is a well-wrought nutshell, for the duration of our perception, and we can count ourselves kings and queens of infinite space within it.

"Klemm was one of the first artists the gallery represented, and we are proud to continue to show his work in our 39th year," notes the Workman statement for "Box of Light." We're glad to journalistically confirm: Yes, he was; and indeed, they should be.


“Will Klemm: Box of Light”

Wally Workman Gallery, 1202 W. Sixth, 512/472-7428
www.wallyworkmangallery.com
Through Oct. 27

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Wally Workman Gallery
"Ashley Benton + Christopher Lee Gilmer" at Wally Workman Gallery
Art is, we’ll insist, transcendent when its foundation is skill and passion

Wayne Alan Brenner, Dec. 27, 2019

Elizabeth Chapin:
Elizabeth Chapin: "Deconstructing Nostalgia" at Wally Workman Gallery
This "type of padded cell of Southern culture" is, pardon us, insanely beautiful

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 8, 2019

More Arts Reviews
<i>Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents</i> by Isabel Wilkerson
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
In her second book, the author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines and breaks down the unacknowledged social structure baked into our country

Rosalind Faires, Nov. 13, 2020

<i>Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir</i> by Natasha Trethewey
Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
In her book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet is a daughter who returns to her mother's crime scene to reclaim herself

Barbara Purcell, Nov. 6, 2020

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Home Slice Loves Selena, Jo’s Loves La Colombe, Nobody Doesn’t Love Churros, and Everybody’s Cooking Burgers
Home Slice Loves Selena, Jo’s Loves La Colombe, Nobody Doesn’t Love Churros, and Everybody’s Cooking Burgers
All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Dec. 1, 2020

Teas for Drinking, Teas for Thinking
Teas for Drinking, Teas for Thinking
Sometimes even a java fiend needs a vacation from coffee

Nov. 27, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Wally Workman Gallery, Will Klemm

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle