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Richard Klank

Richard Klank


Artist Work

Iran #1
Ink on paper
Iran #4
Ink on Paper
Horizons #5
Ink and acrylic on paper
Kabuki Series
Ink and acrylic on paper
Landscape of home
Watercolor on paper
ink on stretched canvas
about 4'x6'

Artist Information

Prince George's County
Artistic Category

Performing Arts, Traditional Arts

Artist Statement

Several years ago, violinist Daniel Heifetz and soprano Carmen Balthrop played Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise in my studio while I painted. The paintings, the wood floor acoustics, together with the audience as participants in this salon experience helped to create a series of opportunities that were the genesis of the works exhibited here. From this initial experience there emerged a number of performances for the three of us. Daniel Heifetz performed the Rachmaninoff piece in a joint concert with Carmen Balthrop at the Kennedy Center. At the conclusion of the Marian Anderson Voice Competition, Judge Carmen Balthrop sang while I painted on stage with her. More of these collaborative concerts followed. Later, Daniel Heifetz and I performed two concerts with violin and painting that led to my being invited to paint with young string players at the Heifetz String Institute in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. In all, almost 40 paintings were produced during these collaborations.I used acrylic paint, sometimes pastel and charcoal for the stage paintings, but a problem I faced was 15 minutes was not enough time to finish the paintings during the actual concerts. So the challenge became how to complete these works without altering the original statements? In 2005, I began adding diluted layers of oil paint often fortified by lavender and poppy seed oil and most recently with Galklyd and Liquin (the new resins) to my collaborative music paintings. Application of thin and transparent layers allowed me to finish them without changing their fundamental structure. Another important influence was that after being given the oil paints that once belonged to Ellen Gelman by the Kossow/Gelman family following her death, I developed a new, subtle and vibrant palette. I had explored painting concepts and ideas during frequent vigorous discussions with Ellen. Color was Ellen’s thing; my palette was mostly limited to black and white or black and white with one sometimes extremely thin, supporting color. With Ellen’s colorful paint there was an explosion of the Gelman palette on my canvasses. The expression of space formed with music found completion with the application of fine surface over-layers with the abundant palette of Gelman’s paint These paintings are the result.

Artist Bio

Richard Klank lives and works in Maryland where he is a Professor of Art at the University of Maryland. He has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Museum of Art, The National Cathedral and The World Bank as well as other local galleries. In Key West, he has exhibited at The Fred Gross Gallery The Artist Warehouse Gallery, The Lois Locklear, The Victoria Lesser and Fort Martello Museum and a retrospective exhibition at The Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally, among others, at The Museums of Modern Art in Reijka, Brussels, Maintz, and London, as well as at The Thanksgiving Square in Dallas, The Arkos Gallery in Lenox,Ma. and Chosen Land at Sabbath Day Lake, Maine. He has been an active participant in conferences and has lectured extensively. He has contributed as a judge in awarding prizes, grants and forming exhibitions

Recently, Klank’s work has evolved into a musical performance event, where Klank paints, and Soprano Carmen Balthrop and Violinist Daniel Heifetz perform. During the Summer 2001, Klank constructed 12 paintings in public performances at an International String Institute in Wolfeboro, NH. He is currently working with Scot Reese, University of Maryland’s Theatre Department faculty member, to combine musical theatre with painting and performance.