ACHIM ARTHUR KLAAS
(1950 - )
Achim Klaas began his artistic career in his early teens as a painter and won various competitions and awards. During these early years he became known as a portrait painter and received commissions to paint many prominent people. Commissions came from around the world and he was shown in various galleries and private collections.
He was educated at York University and the University of Toronto. During his university years he expanded his knowledge base into architectural design and sculpture. Commissioned work continued to grow in scope and complexity, receiving many awards and critical public acclaim.
Currently, he is the principal artist and designer of the firm ‘Klaas Design Inc.’, which he founded in 1974. Its studios are located near Cambridge, Ontario. Klaas Design has several employees and produces original monumental scale artwork in all mediums, as well as architectural design. Working on a commission basis, clients range internationally. The firm receives commissions from the private and corporate sectors, hospitals, school boards, museums, churches and cemeteries. Recent works include; a sculpted, fine painted mural on ‘Social Justice’ for the University of Western Ontario, King’s College; a life-size full figure sculpture of Pope John Paul II for the Diocese of London; the Bruyere Monument in Ottawa; and multiple sculptures for St. Mary of the Lake, New Jersey.
Achim’s work is well recognized for its innate empathy with which he approaches his human subject matter. His portrait compositions are infused with powerful feeling as well as being sensitively accurate. As one critic recently noted, “Over the past 30 years Achim has become one of the foremost artists and sculptors, certainly in Canada, and perhaps in all of North America. Achim’s sculptures adorn many public spaces throughout Canada and internationally. Looking at one of his works, the viewer is absorbed into looking for deeper meanings. The uncompromising detail carried by the overall concept with dynamic gestures is amazing”.