Karl Klingbiel’s deeply process-oriented methodology of image-building is designed to create paintings that serve not just as objects, but as arenas in which the paintings gain, over the course of their making, a certain autonomy, or countervailing force, rivaling his intentions for their resolution. This instability is the metaphorical core of the work, and both reflects and inhabits the disparate nature of the imagery contained within them. The paintings are pushed to a fulcrum of imprecision between intent and execution that results in a virtual self-creation, or in more mundane terms, a palimpsest of its own making, reflecting their history of refracted, layered, redacted, and distilled content, essentially becoming portraits of themselves.


Klingbiel intends the paintings to present a zone of activity whose species is not discernible, stating, “How the images are made, in the aggregate, is rather mysterious to me; whatever I arrive at, it’s going to be something else. If I try to fix on an image, it’s already moving away.” This tension, or instability, acts for Klingbiel as a kind of “stillness” and marks the painting’s resonance. “These paintings belong to me only as much as the influences that create them belong to me, and that is as it should be,” he states regarding the works in Every Force Evolves a Form. This instability of relationships, codified as unitary form, as objective understanding, is the mystery that we all live with, the truth we all tell ourselves.


"There's a "through the looking glass" quality to Karl Klingbiel's work. On "this" side, there is intellectual order, articulated intent and a sense of place. But step through and the glass starts to shimmer and liquefy. On the other side awaits earthy, yet otherworldly warmth- a dream state. It's not necessarily chaos juxtaposed with order- for chaise implies fracture, maligned discontent. Rather, on "that" side there's a muted, swirling bliss- a subtle but distinct free for all of color, motion and space which has the capacity to bend time. Karl's work invites us to get lost, to stare into the fuzzy bloom of the abyss without fear- to meditate and disappear into the source. It's the best a painting can do."

- Drew Moss



1983 Yale University
1982 Stoekel Fellowship, Yale/Norfolk
1982-83 House Scholar Fellowship in Painting



Museum of Modern Art, NYC
New York Public Library Artists’ Books Collection
Castellani Art Museum, Niagara University, Niagara NY
Staadtsgalerie, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
Trumbull College, Yale University
Cranbrrok School, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Agnes Gund Collection
The Winter Group
Various private collections

Google Headquarters


Solo Exhibitions 

2022 Maybaum Gallery (UPCOMING), San Francisco, CA

2019 Palimpsest, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 You Go Where You Are Needed, Ille Arts, East Hampton, NY
2018 Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder/St. Helena, CA

2017 Recent Paintings, Stella G Contemporary, Charlotte, NC
2017 Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2016 Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2014 Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2014 The Left Bank, Brooklyn, Lawrence Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2011 The Gates Of Eden, Masters & Pelavin Gallery, New York
2010 Book Of Days, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art, New York
2009 Weapons From A Hoard Of Values, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art
2008 The Divining Science, Galerie Florian Sundheimer, Munich
2007 Ghosts, Plants And Poets, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art
2005 Planisphere, Galerie Florian Sundheimer
2005 Morning Practice, Evening Practice, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art
2004 100 Poems From The Japanese, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art
2002 Recent Paintings, Galerie Florian Sundheimer
1996 Recent Paintings, Galerie Valte, Dresden
1996 Recent Paintings, IAG Gallery, Detroit
1993 Recent Paintings, Galerie Valte
1993 Recent Paintings, Galerie Umeni, Karlsbad


Group Exhibitions

2020 Art Miami Online, Maybaum Gallery

2020 Untitled Art Fair, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2019 Art Miami, Maybaum Gallery, Miami, FL

2019 Seattle Art Fair, Maybaum Gallery, Seattle, WA

2019 Art Market, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 Art Miami, Maybaum Gallery, Miami, FL

2018 Seattle Art Fair, Maybaum Gallery, Seattle, WA

2018 Untitled Art Fair, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 Formal Dimension, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 Art Market SF, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2017 Come Together, Stella G Contemporary
2016 Silicon Valley Art Fair, Caldwell Snyder Gallery
2014 Art Basel Miami, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco
2014 Far Away Nearby, Masters Projects, New York
2013 Art Basel Miami, Lawrence Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2013 Legend Tripping, Masters Projects
2013 Xtraction, The Hole, New York
2013 A City Built on Sorrow, Masters & Pelavin
2011 A Field Guide To Getting Lost, Masters & Pelavin
2008 Environments And Empires, Rose Art Gallery of Brandeis University
2007 Visual Aspirations, Albright College Center for the Arts, Reading, PA
2007 The Flower Show, Joie de Livres, Salisbury, CT
2005 Affinities, Albright College Center for the Arts
1999 In Company: Robert Creeley’s Collaborations, NYC Public Library, Main Branch
1998 Small Works, Washington Square Gallery, NYC
1997 SMST, Brooklyn Brewery
1996 Support Living Artists, Various Sites
1995 Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany
1995 Small Works, Washington Square Gallery
1994 Metro Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
1993 Dresden Graphics Messe, Dresden
1992 Color, La Mama Gallery, NYC
1989 Outside the Kingdom, Kingswood Gallery, Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, MI
1987 The Easter Show, Lahser Gallery, NYC
1986 Collaboration with Andrew Ross, Kingswood Gallery, Cranbrook
1985 Works On Paper, Detroit Artists’ Market
1985 Out Of Town Pierkko Gallery, Helsinki
1978 Michigan Assn of Printmakers 7th Biennial, Detroit Institute of Art