There is a place that is personal, revisited in the private hours when the paint is laid upon the surface, when the psyche opens up and dances with abandon, when the digging is deep and resonant. This abstract extension of the inner man is a site of deep personal conviction. There is a reason why Klunder’s work is recognisable, a visual trope that has the character of his site, that inner place that he revisits again and again. It develops from painting to painting. It takes from new angles, hits from fresh openings, and adds and subtracts information according to the intimate workings of his mind. The practice becomes a blend between the subconscious and the conscious. The resulting piece? Always, “A Klunder!”
Because the works are seated within familiar formats of modernism, to ‘catch’ a Klunder requires the initiation that comes from inclusion in a club whose members understand the language of abstract expressionism. If this comprehension is intuitive it is the subjective response of a creative mind to the piece of art. If the understanding is intellectual, it is swayed from the pursuit of unnecessary objectivity towards a more visceral understanding of the work through the adamant physicality. Either approach or, more likely a combination of both, brings about the same result - a touch that awakens areas in the psyche that needed the robust brush stroke or the painterly gesture in order to be roused. Once awakened, the draw to cross over from the confines of individualism and into the realms of the rich unknown are hard to resist. All that is part of the world of painting and drawing - the messiness, the joy, the working out, the past imperfect that cries out to be held down with a definitive “yes!” while the smell of oils and charcoal affect reason - becomes irresistible. Harold Klunder is an artist’s artist. Standing in front of a Klunder is an opportunity to understand the urge for abstraction. It is summed up simply as ‘freedom of expression’. A Klunder makes an artist out of a viewer for he introduces a complicit atmosphere.
There is the wrapping up of the discovery, the point when the search has been satisfied and the case can be closed, for this time, in this drawing, before the next search takes place.
Copyright © 2007, Julie Oakes