Roaming the Shores
Florals, horses and figures will all be on view at Michael Klein’s upcoming show at Maxwell Alexander Gallery. “I’ve been painting flowers for a long time,” Klein says. “My wife and I own a home in Argentina, and after a stint there in 2010, I got back to New York and started buying flowers every day at the flower market.” Among the floral works on view in the exhibition are White Peonies and Studio Mirror. In Studio Mirror, the artist is reflected, palette in hand, behind a bucket of red and white flowers.
Though he made his name painting flowers, Klein has recently begun a series of equine subjects. After moving from New York City to North Carolina, Klein discovered the wild horses that have roamed the shores of the state’s Outer Banks for over 400 years, thriving centuries after being ditched with cargo by early Spanish explorers.
“These horses have been doing the same thing for hundreds of years, just grazing the lands, and as a subject they haven’t changed at all,” Klein says. “The imagery is really incredible. It felt very European, and very historical, and yet it exists right in front of us.”
A group of the coastal horses congregates on the shore in Winter Survival. They graze on the dormant grass, half covered in a layer of snow. “These horses were basically untouched until the 20th century, and then they got diminished because of a bounty set on them in the 1930s,” Klein says. “Now, there are a few nonprofits that protect them.”
Figurative works, such as Contemplation and Future Legacy, San Carlos will also be featured in the show, which opens at Maxwell Alexander Gallery December 8, with a reception taking place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.