Andrew Klein Paintings

Biography

Andrew KleinI first saw the light of day in Debrecen, Hungary in April 1940; not a great time to be born in Eastern Europe, and particularly not if you belonged to a scorned minority which I did. In the spring of 1944 I was forced to travel by cattle car on a filthy journey to a forced labor camp called Strasshof, outside of Vienna. I was with some remnants of my family. I was four years old. A year later we were liberated by the Soviet Army and we then made our way slowly back to Hungary, a long and dangerous walk. This trip lasted no more than a week, but the many bloody events and sometimes thrilling air strikes became imprinted on my five year old mind. I believe that these circumstances gave rise to a certain detached cast of mind which seems to be one of the prerequisites for the formation of some kinds of artists.

When I was six, my Father who was a tailor, decided we should join the many who went before us, and irmmigrate to the United States. This plan took us three long years to achieve. During this time my family wandered all over Europe. We first lived in a refugee camp in Munich for two years, and then we moved to Paris for a year before finally being granted Visas and sailing on a U.S. Navy ship and arriving into New York harbor in 1949. We immediately traveled by train to Chicago, and settled there, in the city I still love most. I was nine years old.

At sixteen, a self portrait by Van Gogh at the Museum there fueled my interest in painting. I went on however, to attend Northwestern University (B.A. West African Anthropology) and then succumbed to my calling and spent another four years at The Art Institute of Chicago. There my most important influences were Robert Skaggs in painting, and the fabulous galleries of The Art Institute. Along the way there were many others both dead and alive who influenced me. Vermeer and Paul Cézanne top the list; and J. Hambidge’s book “The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry” taught me about the Golden Section.

I went on to Graduate School at Indiana State (M.F.A), and after graduation to marry and teach art in St. Louis. In 1968 we moved to Israel. I continued to paint while working in a Kibbutz picking bananas, being an Archeological and Biblical tour guide, founding an Art School in the desert town of Beersheva, and teaching . Israel was very good to me and I exhibited extensively. My two terrific daughters, Gabriella and Hedya were also born there and they are now both professional artists.

Boston has been my residence since 1978 with many lengthy trips in between to Guatemala and Mexico, with shorter trips to China, Europe, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. I am married to Julie and I continue to paint with her support and great cooking. Julie's 2 sons Nick and Nate (and his wife Thalia), and our 3 grandkids Lyla,Louis and Roni are an essential part of our lives.