News: Recent Press: KLEA McKENNA in ART IN AMERICA, December 21, 2018 - Leah Ollman


December 21, 2018 - Leah Ollman

Look and Feel: The Best Photography Books of 2018

Generation by Klea McKenna

What matters to Klea McKenna registers immediately when you take her book, Generation, into your hands. For her, touch is on a par with vision. Surface and image are inextricable. McKenna works in the dark, embossing light-sensitized paper through pressured contact with objects, then exposing the textured sheets to the raking beam of a flashlight. In the past, she has made such “photographic rubbings” using the cross-sections of trees; in Generation, she uses different types of handmade fabrics, from a fringed Spanish shawl to an embroidered Pakistani dress. Some of these photograms are included in the book, along with a text in which McKenna reflects on the material history and intimate use of the textiles. Also included are montages of reference photographs, old and new, ethnographic, cinematic, and vernacular. Like the fabrics, like skin, the book’s cover has a distinct life—the cover of my copy will not look or feel like the cover of yours, since a unique one has been created from the residue of the making of the work for each edition in the limited print run. In case we needed the prompt, the inside back cover is stamped with the directive: FEEL ME.

News: Recent Press, October 27, 2018

Recent Press

October 27, 2018


By Michael Wilson

If the photogram is ordinarily associated with a shadowy ephemerality, San Francisco artist Klea McKenna’s approach to the form invests it with a physical heft more often linked to printmaking, or even sculpture...In her Generation series, McKenna redirects her lens toward the human realm, depicting textiles transformed by wear and tear into haunting records of women’s experiences – narratives removed from McKenna’s own by the specificities of time and place but united with it in other ways. La China Poblana (1), 2018, for example, embodies a fascinating intersection of cultural identities in its depiction of an old skirt encrusted with sequins. This traditional garment tells the story of a Rajasthani woman who, in the late 1600s, was kidnapped, sold into slavery, and taken to the Mexican city of Puebla, where she eventually married a wealthy merchant.

News: Recent Press, October 10, 2018

Recent Press

October 10, 2018


by Adam Ethan Berner

The photograms render their subjects in incredibly intimate detail; each stitching shines through the silvery imprint, lines and creases transforming from marks to be fixed into something ethereal and beautiful. Even a seemingly tangled scattering of 48 nylon stockings becomes a beautiful composition of fabric, a twisting and flowing set of silvery smoke that beckons the viewer to imagine what is and what could be...
It reveals the life and labor that took place to create these works in the first place, highlighting the identities of those who had been rendered invisible by the unconscious assumption that objects like these just appear without the labor of actual people...Each crease, each line, each stitching, and each decoration becomes a testament to the lives of those who made these works, like the creation of a soul now passed onto the viewer.

News: Recent Press, October  4, 2018

Recent Press

October 4, 2018


By Richard B. Woodward

Over the last 5 years, Klea McKenna has repeatedly proven herself to be a contemporary master of the photogram. A technical innovator who has nonetheless remained true to this primal act of the medium—writing on pieces of paper with light—she has created ravishing prints that incorporate nature into the process of their emanation, an artistic philosophy that reflects an unconventional upbringing in northern California.

link to full article

News: Exhibition at PRATT, October  3, 2018

Exhibition at PRATT

October 3, 2018

curated by LIA GANGITANO

October 3 – December 14

Opening reception Wednesday, October 3, 6–8 pm

ARC Building, Lower Level, Brooklyn, NY 11205

DIRECTIONS: If coming by subway, take the G train to the Clinton-Washington station and use the Washington Avenue exit. Walk up Washington Avenue one block to Dekalb Avenue and take a right one block to Hall Street. Enter the campus at the corner of Dekalb Avenue and Hall Street. Walk through campus to the ARC building at the end. It is a two story building with many triangular roofs.
link to more directions      link to campus map

Pratt Gallery hours: Monday–Friday, 11 AM–5 PM
link to more information

News: Artist Talk, September 14, 2018

Artist Talk

September 14, 2018

California based artists KLEA McKENNA and Aspen Mays in conversation with Joshua Chuang (Senior Curator of Photography, New York Public Library)

Friday, September 14th, 7:00 pm

News: Recent Press, September 13, 2018

Recent Press

September 13, 2018


By Kurt McVey

Her work, as she sees it, though aesthetically gorgeous, sensual and mysterious, is dependent on the idea that these things, the sinewy, ghostly photograms-a physical and yet metaphysical expression of these textiles-have something to say for themselves. “They’re not just dead matter.”

News: Upcoming Exhibition, September 12, 2018

Upcoming Exhibition

September 12, 2018

KLEA McKENNA: Generation

Gitterman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of contemporary work by Klea McKenna. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, September 12th from 6–8 p.m. and continues through Saturday, November 10th.  

This exhibition marks her first solo show in New York and the beginning of her representation by Gitterman Gallery. It is presented in association with Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles where McKenna will have a concurrent exhibition from September 7th through October 20th.
The exhibition presents McKenna's most recent work Generation alongside work from two of her previous series Automatic Earth and Web Studies. With each series, McKenna uses the photogram process innovatively to create unique gelatin silver prints that contain both vivid detail and ethereal abstraction. She pays homage to her subject's histories while re-animating them through her engagement, revealing nuance, depth and energy.

News: New Representation, July 26, 2018

New Representation

July 26, 2018

We are proud to announce the representation of KLEA McKENNA

News: Recent Press: new publication LIFEGUARD, June 22, 2018

Recent Press: new publication LIFEGUARD

June 22, 2018


Three Decades of Lifeguards at New York’s Jones Beach
By Andrea DenHoed

An avid chronicler of American youth, Szabo began taking pictures at Jones Beach in 1960, and returned year after year to capture the diverse human menagerie that gathers every summer: the evolving styles of swimsuits, the near-naked bodies in their limitless variety, the jubilance and intimacy of a day at the beach. Floating above it all, in Szabo’s scenes, is the figure of the lifeguard, on a high perch, upright and vigilant amid the languid bodies and umbrellas below. Sometimes they are a taken-for-granted part of the landscape, their chairs blending into a wide-angle view of the crowd; sometimes they’re godlike, on a literal pedestal and shot from the ground.

Link to full article