Art in Embassies – John Karl Claes

Summer Spread
Summer Spread

Summer Spread, 2011

Oil on panel

10 x 16 in. (25,4 x 40,6 cm)

Courtesy of the artist, Turlock, California


Small 320 (320 x 213)

Medium 500 (500 x 333)

Large 2048 (2048 x 1365)

Biography – John Karl Claes

John Karl Claes
John Karl Claes

“I have painted landscapes of the West for more than twenty years. It is in that environment that I matured as a painter, and I continue to be challenged and inspired by it.

The natural landscape is my starting point. By using strong color and design, I distill what I have observed into my work. Though my paintings are not directly related to any one time or place, they all have a connection with the natural world and are an accumulation of how I experienced our landscape. I am most successful when both image and paint become inseparable and fused together.

Color and composition are of the utmost importance. I pay close attention to how the colors are put together, how they interact with each other and where they are placed.”

John Karl Claes was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California. He began painting in high school and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree at California State University, Stanislaus, and then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Since graduating, he has received numerous awards, both regionally and nationally. He has also shown his paintings and drawings regularly in many solo and group shows.

Claes’ paintings of the agricultural landscape of the West have been described by the Sacramento Bee art critic Victoria Dalkey as, “Original…(he uses) deeply saturated color in his raw and romantic landscapes with dramatic skies. His works can move towards abstraction and the color investigation of Mark Rothko. John Karl Claes’ work gives us a moody gestural image in somber yet rich tones.” His work is represented in galleries throughout the West. He currently resides with his wife and two sons in California’s Central Valley where he also maintains his studio.