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Isabelle Klauder

Isabelle Klauder is a figurative fabric artist who has exhibited extensively across the United States including a solo exhibit at S. Tucker Crooke Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. Her work has been featured by independent publishers such as in Citizen Times Art News and In the Flesh 5. 

The paintings usually convey robust, curvy women overlaid with design patterns which seem to be inspired by printed fabric or even wallpaper. She also paints animals such as equines and birds which intertwine with elements of design, sometimes flowers as well. Fabrics are used as a base for her paintings to note the history women have had working with such material. 

Wild Colts Make the Best Horses (top of article) represents a delicate approach to contemporary image-making. The painting consistently contains pale pastel tones mostly with variations of off-whites. Majestic and intense, the steed stares blankly in space as the fabric inspired background washes over his or her skin. Even the horses’ reins contain textile design and integration with the horses’ pale skin and neutral off-tan background. There are splashes of pinks and yellow ochres accentuated through the florals spread out across the composition. The flowers spread everywhere across the surface even appearing to integrate with the steed’s epidermis. A powerful yet elegant painting which directs the viewer towards reinterpreting representational art and appreciating the integration between design and fine art. 

Empty Vessels Make the Most Sound (third image from top of article) conveys a sense of suspension in her signature figurative approach. The female figure remains suspended in the air crouching over to peer at a squawking bird. Portions of the painting remain incomplete, integrating with the fabric. The color scheme is interesting because the painting only contains off-white and grays from the design of the fabric followed by the tans and neutral tones on the woman. A quiet painting with loud obnoxious birds all over the place screeching away. 

Isabelle uses her compositions with limited negative space; if an area contains no patterns then there remains the central subject of the figure or animal, usually placed off center. The motifs within the paintings are usually floral in nature or resemble foliage. Some of the patterns appear to have already been found on these fabrics while other areas seem to have been painted in as if the artist wanted to perfect the design elements. The type and style of designs come off as where one would see on a bed sheet or wallpaper. 

Isabelle Klauder helps define the purpose of representational painting in contemporary society. In a world with varied approaches to expression and form, there remains a special purpose for representational and figurative art. Using found objects and altering such intentional purposes to create aesthetically pleasing art inspires us to to take a second look at our surroundings and property. We may discover new reasons to explore everyday objects while traversing tradition and the future simultaneously.


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