Erika Giovanna Klien

1900 Borgo di Valsugana - 1957 New York

Erika Giovanna Klien was born on April 12, 1900 in Borgo di Valsugana in Trentino. From 1919 to 1924, she studied ornamental forms at the Vienna School of Applied Arts with Franz Cizek. Encouraged by the friendly relationship with the artist couple Rochowanski, Klien began to work on a kinetic puppet theatre in 1923. At the same time, she appeared as an amateur actress. In 1924/25 she completed her master year with Franz Cizek and completed her training to become an art teacher. She moved into a studio in Purkersdorf and started as a commercial artist. After a probationary year as an art teacher at the Elizabeth Duncan School in Klessheim, she continued teaching from 1926 to 1928. Her son Walter Klien was born in 1928 and grew up with foster parents. In 1929 she moved to New York. Until 1940 she taught at major art schools such as the Stuyvesant School, the Dalton School, the New School for Social Research and the Spence School. She made her living from advertisement designs. From 1934 onwards, the artist started dealing with her abstract series showing flights of birds. As the main representative of Viennese kinetism, she spent her life dealing with the movement of the human figure - starting from dance theatre - and the movement in the flora and fauna. In America, she was also interested in technical devices and the sceneries in subway stations. She was also the author of theoretical writings on art education. Erika Giovanna Klien died on July 19, 1957 in New York and was ,despite numerous international exhibitions, underestimated in her artistic significance.