Elliot Klein is one of the most interesting and single-minded figures in the School of Oxford, a group of artists who have come together through their shared love of the Romantic movement. Each artist in the School has his or her own preoccupations, but all place traditional artistic skills and a love of vivid natural beauty at the core of their practice.
Whilst sympathetic to these broad aims, Klein makes no bones about pursuing his own artistic agenda, which is clearly focused on the ongoing relevance and power of folk art traditions. Much as the Pre-Raphaelites wanted to escape into an older world of courtly and rural adventure, Klein’s work evokes the daily charms of historic idylls, as captured in the work of painters such as Alfred Wallis.
Klein’s paintings are winning a wide audience of collectors who appreciate his vividly playful sense of colour, and recognise the pedigree of a painter whose work connects with the still lives of artists such as Ben Nicholson and Amedeo Modigliani. At the same time, Klein is always eager to pursue connections with European folk art and has made numerous visits to rural artesans and outsider artists on the continent over the years.