LOS ANGELES.- Metro Gallery presents Mary-Austin Kleins solo exhibition, Collective Amnesia. These new works explore the form of the Los Angeles landscape, the idea of how those of us who reside here define it, how we define ourselves by it, and how we interact with it. Mary-Austin Kleins exhibition tackles these questions through oil paintings of the urban landscape displaying the enchantment that is Los Angeles. The exhibition will be on display from May 17th to June 21st, 2008.
Mary-Austin Kleins love of the natural environment began as she grew up on the Palos Verde Peninsula where she connected with the jagged landforms against the Pacific Ocean. With a fine art degree from The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Mary-Austins work has dealt with desert landscapes to her recent works where urban design is quite simply stated. This concrete city is enveloped by real estate, but beautified by the natural environment surrounding these forms. Mary-Austin Klein captures the honest depiction of homes holding tight to slippery hillsides, smoky skies, dream homes, empty lots, and ding bat apartments representing the collision of natural beauty and the dreamers that have called Los Angeles home.
Born 1964 in San Bernardino and raised on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, it is here that she discovered the emotional power of eroded landforms against the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design took her inland to Los Angeles where she and her husband settled in the community of Echo Park. After graduating in 1991 from Otis with a degree in fine art, she painted urban scenes of Los Angeles.
Mary-Austin Klein rediscovered her connection to the landscape on a trip to Joshua Tree. Upon studying early California landscape paintings she realized most of the views depicted were forever changed by development. With the deserts being some of the last pristine regions and becoming increasingly vulnerable to the expansion of bordering urban areas, she felt the need to document and promote the soul of the western landscape. Purchasing a homestead cabin in Twentynine Palms has given Klein a perfect position to focus on the vast desert.
Klein has developed a following of art collectors for her unique style and approach to painting natural landscapes. Through her signature small-scale paintings, she shares views with others who might not be aware of the beauty that exists in remote natural landscapes.
The Desert Trail newspaper, LA Architect Magazine and publications published by the California Wilderness Coalition have featured and profiled Mary-Austin Klein. Besides being a painter, she is also an instructor of art, photography and woodworking. Mary-Austin Klein is the first artist to be elected onto the board of the directors for the California Wilderness Coalition.