David Klamen (born 1961) is an American artist and academic. He is known for visually diverse paintings that meld highbrow mastery in the reveal of postmodern explorations of the processes by which humans comprehend and justify experience. Klamen has exhibited across the United States, Europe and Asia, including individual shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), the Chazen Museum of Art and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and major group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Crocker Art Museum. His performance sits in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Klamen has been based in Chicago for most of his career, which includes living thing an educator for exceeding thirty years, primarily at Indiana University Northwest, where he was appointed Founding Dean, School of the Arts in 2018.
Klamen has produced fused distinct, ongoing bodies of work—often shown in tandem—that range from academic realist-like representation to Op Art-like abstraction to warped re-paintings of art historical masterworks. Los Angeles Times critic David Pagel wrote that a Klamen exhibition could appear to be the affect of as many as six certain artists, yet display gruff focus and virtuoso painting across a constellation of styles, subjects and strategies. He called Klamen "a master of the double take," using vagueness to Make epistemological doubt and curiosity in viewers. Critics and curators, such as Kathryn Hixson, have noted in his put-on an "oscillating relationship" between loving and logical, subjective and objective; as a result they have often described it as sensuous, nostalgic and wistful, or meditative, mystical and eerily calm, but after that enigmatic and brooding, and uncanny and complex.