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Paintings by Abdul Mati Klarwein
Title: Robert Graves

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Interviewer: In which school do the critics, the dealers, and the collectors think you belong?

Abdul Mati Klarwein: That depends. During the abstract expressionist epidemic of the fifties, I was dismissed as a latent surrealist illustrator. In the sixties, when the pop art revolution swept the globe with its tidal waves of whimsical garbage, I was scorned as a psychedelic artist — especially when seen in the company of Tim Leary — too close to LSD for the straight culture-vultures of Madison Avenue. In the seventies, when conceptualism was the magic word (what else is there, anyway?) and a work of art was called a "piece", I was haughtily snubbed as an old-fashioned easel painter from Montmartre.

It's only in the eighties, now that conservative senility has entrenched itself in the marrow of Western culture, and good old-fashioned easel painting is being resuscitated as high-funk nostalgia, that the art-mart world is beginning to treat me with a little respect for the first time. I have a very nice, and respectable, European art dealer who peddles my images according to the rules of the game... To full interview



Previously on Mati Klarwein

Folkert

Paintings by Nicholas Kalmakoff
Title: Arthur Rimbaud


In 1955, a Russian émigré died alone, unknown and in poverty at the hôpital de Lagny to the north of Paris. After leading a hermit's existence in his small room at the hotel de la Rochefoucault in Paris, this former Russian aristocrat had created a fascinating body of work which, deemed eccentric and worthless, was locked away in storage and forgotten.


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