New York-based artist Gloria Klein was an early member of the Pattern and Decoration movement in the 1970s. She was an active participant in the artist’s co-operative Criss-Cross, which was co-founded by Clark Richert and included George Woodman, Marilyn Nelson, Dee Shapiro and Robert Swain, among others. Her work was frequently featured in their avant-garde publication, Criss-Cross Art Communications. Klein’s rigorous and colorful geometric abstract paintings are based on her own mathematical system for dividing and organizing her canvases and systematically distributing colors to create stunning and detailed compositions.
Klein, a systemic painter, used this process to experiment with her palettes and compositions, creating intricate patters that range from completely chaotic to highly structured with geometric grids and every variation in between. Her interest in mark making began with the hatch mark, varying in length and slight shifts in the angle, these slender hard-edged elements were core to her paintings and intricate drawings. Like the stitch in sewing, a single stitch only makes one mark, but collectively, hundreds and thousands of them create intricate patterns and complex compositions. Over time, the hatch mark was combined with small squares to create more complex layers of marks and patterns, then to compositions of just squares. Each motif and composition was made unique with striking color palettes and juxtapositions that created delicate and multi-layered patterns and novel hues.