DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > The Nature Drawings of Peter Karklins
Peter Karklins, October 12, 2001, 2001. Graphite on paper. Courtesy of the artist
The small, hermetic drawings of Peter Karklins capture with pencil and paper the disturbing processes just beneath the surface of human life. The complexity of his organic forms is matched by the artist’s meticulous recording of the times and circumstances of production on the reverse of each sheet. The visceral images seem not just wet but literally dripping; together with the austere annotations of dates and places they constitute an intensely focused meditation on the passage of time and the processes of mortality.
Peter Karklins was born in 1945 in eastern Germany. In 1951 his family emigrated to Chicago, where he studied printmaking and sculpture. For a number of years he worked as an architectural model maker, and when that profession was replaced by computer modeling he became a security guard at various locations in Chicago. The drawings in this exhibition were produced on trains to and from his work, or at a desk on the night shift. A catalogue of the exhibition includes brief essays on Karklins’s work by 17 scholars in disciplines ranging from philosophy to ecology.