Claire Krantz

I am an artist and an art critic living in Chicago. My writings may be found in Art in America, Sculpture, Flash Art, ArtPapers, as well as other reknown publications. I have curated exhibits for such institutions as The Spertus Museum, The State of Illinois Museums, Wood Street Gallery, U-Turn E-zine, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. I have lectured at various institutions and universities in the United States, Europe, South Africa, and Indonesia.

I began working with photographic images while I was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, taking a course called “Generative Systems,” in which I began taking Xeroxes of ordinary things: rice, celery, shells, etc. I then began to combine them with drawing and painting. After I graduated, I made artists’ books and explored painting. Several years later, I started thinking about taking my own photos and incorporating them into my books and painting. At that time, computer systems were not developed enough for me to scan and print them, so I took them to photo labs (Like Helix) and had them printed small in scale. I then combined them, through the years, in different ways, combinations and formats, changing my painting along the way. I used them with colored pencils, gouache, oils, and now, acrylic paint. About eight years ago, I heard about a transparent overlay material called Lazertran, and I started using it – first, as I had in the past, small and surrounded by paint. I also experimented with materials, such as mylar, aluminum, pellon and watercolor paper and began using my computer to scan, combine, and print my photos at home. The photos are getting larger, and now I’m using them by sectioning the images into pieces (6 for smaller paper, and 9 for larger) to cover the entire sheet of heavy watercolor paper. With these new works I began to paint under the transparencies, adhered the transparencies over the paint, and then I painted over the amalgam. I now cover more and more images with paint, particularly in my new series, titled “Untitled #1 Israeli Desert Series, etc. The photos for these current works were taken on a trip to Israel about 3 years ago. The works are becoming more and more abstract, and they give the feeling of the Israeli desert rather than the information about it. Since this direction is just beginning, I will probably be working in this way for several years.