Lewis Klahr

Lewis Klahr

Los Angeles, California, USA


“Above all, Klahr’s great subject is time, which certainly explains the exquisitely melancholy tone that pervades his work. He traffics in modes that are pitched just beyond the realm of reason. Somewhere between waking and sleeping, we can find that wavelength and achieve understanding, only to have it slip away as we enter one state or the other. Klahr’s films and videos provide a rare opportunity for us to engage with a liminal state of consciousness with our alert mind and to reach those “infrathin” moments that Proust describes as existing outside of time.” —Chris Stults, Assistant Curator Film/Video Wexner Center for the Arts from “Collective Unconscious” an article in Film Comment, May/June 2010


Lewis Klahr is a Los Angeles based collage artist who uses found images and sound to explore the intersection of memory and history. He is primarily known for his uniquely idiosyncratic films, which he began creating in 1977 in venues such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, the New York Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The Tate Modern, the Pompidou Center, Redcat and the LA County Museum of Art. Lewis Klahr teaches in the Theater School of the California Institute of the Arts and is represented by The Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Lewis Klahr is presently mastering a new feature length series of collage films titled “The Blue Rose of Forgetfulness.”



Examples of Collage in Motion


Altair (still-image)
16mm; 9 minutes; 1993

A perfumed nightmare. An elliptical color Noir. Certainly the most beautiful film I’ve ever made and possibly the most beloved.


Two Minutes to Zero

Two Minutes to Zero (still-image)
16mm; 1 minute; 2004

A feature length crime story compressed into 60 seconds. Music by Glenn Branca. Commissioned by the Rotterdam Film Festival.


False Aging

False Aging (still-image)
digital video; 15 minutes; 2008

“It’s hard to believe that False Aging is less than 15 minutes long, given how powerfully it evokes passing decades punctuated by muffled explosions of longing and regret. A button revolves around a clock–and the world moves with it. Klahr shares Joseph Cornell’s alchemical genius, but his collaged reveries cast deeper shadows and offer little magical protection from death and disappointment.” —Kristin M. Jones, Film Comment Magazine, January/February 2009, Terra Incognita: Unknown Pleasures From Around the World (a roundup of the best films of 2008).