//Ad libs: London calling

Monday, May 07, 2007

London calling

An exhibit catalogue popped by my desk the other day, sent by one of the most inspiring artists I've written about. Painter Klari Reis, who graced the Weekly's cover in May 2006, was sending word of her new solo show. It opens today at Gallery 27 in London.

This is surely a welcome jump across the pond for the artist, who grew up in Menlo Park and studied in London. It's also fitting that the exhibit is called "Hope."

Klari paints with wet plastic, making compelling patterns of swirls and blobs and blips. Her art represents the structures of medications, blown up huge and dosed with fanciful color.

Klari's work took on this theme when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and put on a frightening quantity of pills. Then she went beyond her own medicines to paint a world of pharmacology: painkillers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, HIV treatments.

It's a rare person who can paint her way out of a health scare, and find a cheerful lining of epoxy polymer. But there you have it.

As Klari's exhibit catalogue reads: "The intent is to deflect the negativity, distrust and avoidance often associated with modern medicine. ... The images are organic, alive with movement and life-affirming."

Pictured: "Lipitor" by Klari Reis, a 40-by-30-inch painting on wood panel