Yashua Klos: How To Hide In The Wind

January 16, 2016 - March 6, 2016

 a close up of "Once You Could Fly" 68" x 68", paper construction of oil based woodblock prints on archival paper, 2015


In our current political and social moment we are witnessing continuous state funded police killings of unarmed Black youth throughout America's segregated cities.  While Yashua Klos' native South Side Chicago is host to the highest murder rate in America, it is also home to resilient, powerful, and innovative Black communities.

While the exhibition's title employs the tone of instructional language, what the title proposes is a physical impossibility. Klos' work deals with the deconstruction of the Black body in terms both physical and societal.  Hiding, posturing, fighting, and mimicking are, therefore, strategies for the preservation of Black life.  

"We understood that our ability to know when to employ either strategy was key to our survival. This new series explores this dynamic: confronted with a grid-like structure, these head forms negotiate resistance and adaptation."

Klos depicts these strategies in the formal building and fracturing of his paper constructions.  Faces appear from hiding behind architectural forms, merging with planes, and  breaking through them.   Moments of abstraction in this work are arrived at through a formal deconstruction of the figure.

While woodblock printing was canonically used to depict the lyrical landscapes of ancient Japan via masters Hiroshige and Hokusai, Klos employs the technique as a means to an end.He amasses an archive of hand-pulled color and texture swatches to be used as source material for his paper constructions. Deviating from those canonical predecessors, Klos' prints are cut, arranged, and compiled to translate the human form into a monumental form. Monuments in Klos' context, however, are as fragile as they they are solid - shifting while remaining stoic - heroic while in mourning.

Download CV here and see images of the exhibition here

Read an interview with Klos on Artinfo about violence, police and art.