Primarily a sculptor, Maria Kley’s fluid practice includes sculptural portraits and architectural installations as well as drawing, print, video and performance. Each artwork derives from a deep connection to intimate narratives, materials and the passage of time.
Kley’s work mostly centers on others. By actively searching for the inner lives and biographies of close family and friends, herself, as well as of people she meets by chance, Maria Kley brings time, person and place together while addressing universal themes such as life, love, human struggle and death. She deliberately opens up her process to participation and external involvement to collectively explore social connection, intimacy and resilience. The resulting abstract works are both conceptual and tactile, both personal and universal.
Each work is a physical manifestation of existential questioning, a process that goes hand in hand with elaborate material research. Be it a stone, clay, used tampons, used paper cups or her late grandmother's scarfs, Maria Kley is challenged by the historical and transformative qualities of materials and objects. With great attention, she takes care of them. Through an intensive process of collecting, observing, dissecting, washing, coloring, assembling, transforming and reducing, material and story become one.
Maria Kley (b.1981, Tokyo, JP) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She studied fashion design at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem (NL). Her artistic practice was preceded by several years of working in the fashion industry. From 2018-2019 Kley was a resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam.