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Martin Klimas Plays the Classics

Martin Klimas Solo Exhibition

September 29 – October 24, 2021

Martin Klimas, Terry Riley - "A Rainbow in Curved Air", 2019
Martin Klimas, Rossini - "Il Barbiere di Siviglia", 2019
Martin Klimas, Richard Wagner - "Ride of the Valkyries", 2019
Martin Klimas, Mozart - "Piano Concerto No. 21", 2019
Martin Klimas, Liszt - "Love Dream", 2019
Martin Klimas, Khachaturian - "Sabre Dance", 2019
Martin Klimas, Beethoven - "Symphony No. 5", 2019
Martin Klimas, Bach - "Air", 2019
Martin Klimas, John Cage - "Twenty-Three", 2019



Foley Gallery is proud to present, Plays the Classics, an exhibition of color photographs by German Photographer Martin Klimas.  This will be the artist’s 8th solo exhibition with the gallery.


What does music look like?  Martin Klimas answered that question in 2013 with his first installment from the SONIC series.  He tapped into the music of Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Prince, and a host of other musicians whose music he translated into undulating paint propelled by the rhythms themselves.


Continuing to be guided by the science of wave phenomenon, Klimas brings together a mix of psychedelic paint, high-speed camera technology, and a playlist made up exclusively of classical composers.  He calls upon the established: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  He taps more contemporary composers including John Cage’s Twenty Three and Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air.


Klimas uses paint as an abstract expressionist might, making a photographic recording that captures the feel and gesture of music’s sound.  His procedure is to pour paint over a protected speaker diaphragm while a selected section of music is broadcast (more like blared) through it, launching the paint -projectile style- in mid-air.  The sounds can be seen in comparison, measured by the paint’s reaction to vibration and Klimas’ choice of colors.   In making music visible, Klimas explores the expression of sound, adding one more visceral element to its total experience.

Martin Klimas is the colorful and creative hybrid of photographers Eadweard Muybridge and Dr. Harold Edgerton. Through his experimentation with motion and the cause and effect in gravity, Klimas’ photographs explore relationships with time, beauty, and destruction.   He received his diploma in visual communication from the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf in 2000. His photography has recently appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and fairs throughout Germany, abroad, and the United States, including a solo exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum in spring 2008. Martin Klimas currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Martin Klimas’ Plays the Classics is on view from September 29  – October 24, 2021. Foley Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 – 5:30 pm, and Sunday, 12 - 5.  To request images, please contact the gallery at