Klara Kristalova (b. 1967, Czechoslovakia; lives and works in Norrtälje, Sweden) creates figurative, influenced by myths and fairy tales that recall childhood fantasy and nightmares. Exuding both innocence and horror, many of her works are based on the human body but are hybrid forms that incorporate aspects of nature—animals, insects, flowers, and trees. The ambiguity of the origin of the figure creates an open narrative that the viewer is invited to dictate or complete. Kristalova's figures are often depicted in the midst of transformation and thus exist in the liminal space between two physical or psychological states. They illustrate binaries such as innocence and danger, perfection and deformation, joy and despair, good and evil, masculine and feminine. The age of adolescence is of particular interest to the artist as a significant period of human transformation and growth, both physically and psychologically. It is a time when innocence and freedom are lost to societal pressures, and decisions are made that impact the direction of one's future. Though Kristalova is primarily a sculptor, she also creates series of drawings, watercolors, and collages that allow her to fully investigate her sculptural forms.
Kristalova studied at the Royal University College of Fine Art, Stockholm. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at Kunstforeningen, GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017); Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL (2014); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2012); Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Sweden (2012); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011); and SITE Santa Fe, NM (2009). Select group exhibitions featuring her work include In Search of the Present, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki (2016); NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); and New Work, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011). Kristalova’s work is included in numerous international public and private collections, including The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Sweden; Bror Hjorths Hus, Sweden; Skövde Konstmuseum, Sweden; Sundsvalls Museum, Sweden; Public Art Agency Sweden; and the Zabludowicz Collection, London.