Referring to J.D. Salinger’s 1961 novel Franny and Zooey, the title points to a tension between embodiment and transcendence. We can’t escape the reality of our desires, proclivities, and hankerings, and to ignore them is to waste our time “in this goddam phenomenal world” (F&Z, p. 167).
The paintings borrow from architectural and ornamental references such as altars, theater sets, and stages, all spaces that frame specific actions and actors, suggesting an interest in performativity, whether ritual or theatrical.
With a practice formerly concerned with figuration, Kleberg’s recent work offers the absence of any depicted actor. Pregnant spaces and the presence of the hand imply the possibility of the figure, and, by extension, implicate the viewer in their own embodiment. The insistent framing in all of the work, and the sculptural elements of some reiterate that the paintings, themselves, are objects or bodies in space. Bright colors and repetitive marks have the hum of the rhapsodic, but the wonkiness evokes something decidedly human.