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Status, price and estimate of the artist Peter KLASEN

Price of a painting: 2,000 – 30,000 €.

Estimate of a print: 50 – 1,000 €.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €100 – €8,000

From German Expressionism to Narrative Figuration

Peter Klasen is a German painter, photographer and sculptor. Peter Klasen was born in 1935 into a family that was already aware of the arts, his uncle was an expressionist painter who had been taught by Otto Dix and his grandfather was a great art collector. From 1942 onwards, the young Peter was marked by two major events, the bombing of his home town and the disappearance of his father in troubled circumstances.

In 1955, Klasen was admitted to the Berlin School of Fine Arts, then the avant-garde school in Germany, where he was taught by artists trained in Expressionism or the Bauhaus, such as Hann Trier.

The year 1959 was decisive for Klasen, who discovered abstraction at the second Documenta in Kassel and received a grant from the German industry. He then decided to move to Paris and set up a studio in the rue Clignancourt. It was at this time that he began his first “tableau-rencontres”, contrasting cut-out images with their airbrushed representation on the same canvas.

Very quickly, he occupied an essential place in the French artistic landscape, being part of the New Figuration movement (or Narrative Figuration) whose greatest representatives are Erró, Hervé Télémaque or Valerio Adami. At the same time, Klasen held solo exhibitions, such as in 1966 at the Mathias Fels Gallery.

A fragmented representation of everyday life

As soon as he arrived in Paris, Klasen’s art was marked by certain characteristics that he would always retain, such as the introduction of fragmented female figures taken from advertising or film posters, associated with everyday objects in torn and broken compositions. As early as 1971, during his exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Klasen undertook three-dimensional installations that echoed a series of paintings.

Three years later, the theme of imprisonment appeared, notably through paintings representing the Holocaust. Prison representations made numerous appearances in the art of Klasen, who was strongly influenced by the novels of Kafka.

In 1980, Klasen undertook a trip to New York, which had a profound effect on his art. His works were then adorned with the presence of the passage of time marked by wear and tear and even rust on canvases or objects that had previously been marked by a clinical cleanliness.

He also explored the associations between three-dimensionality and painted works, particularly from 1997 onwards, when he appropriated the new digital printing techniques to create large formats on which he affixed objects, such as neon lights.

The master of contrast

Peter Klasen has often been called a “master of contrast”, which is proof of his fame, and his art is sometimes defined as industrial art, thanks to the artist’s use of gauges, elements of hydraulic circuits, etc. Klasen has always claimed to show the reality of society in his works, as it appears to him. His art was very quickly recognised by his peers as well as by institutional bodies, which have devoted a number of exhibitions and retrospectives to him, such as the Vasarely Foundation in 1994 and the Sens Museum in 2010.

The French and international art market is very rich in works by Peter Klasen. Estimates vary considerably depending on the type of work, ranging from 60 euros for a simple lithograph to almost 90,000 euros for a painting, such as Le Bon Magique, a canvas that sold for 86,000 euros in 2010 at Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

Recognising Peter Klasen’s signature

Like many artists, Peter Klasen did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

Peter KLASEN signature

Appraise and sell a painting by Peter Klasen

If you own a Peter Klasen painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.