The Drawers - Harold Klunder   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Results of the headhunt

Solidly rooted in the abstract, secure with traditional mediums and referencing historical precedents as part of his daily art practice, Harold Klunder's work, despite this directness, is as mysterious as the masks of primitive people.

This selection of heads exudes a mysterious attraction like the gut wrenching pull of an impossible seduction that comes with a love affair. Because the works are seated within familiar formats of modernism and because this is a route best understood by other artists, the appeal of a Klunder is tinged by a particular brand of narcissism parented by creativity and intellectualism. To 'catch' a Klunder requires the initiation that comes from inclusion in the rarified club of those who 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 wakened 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 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. Within these heads, there is the visual documentation of a searching mind. 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.

Consumed by expression, Harold Klunder creates works on paper that are rife with spirits, demons and psychological phantoms that present haunting auras and leave a memorable after draft.

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers