She was born in 1972 in Alexandria, Scotland, and went to the Glasgow School of Art, where she graduated from the sculpture department in 1999 and received her M.F.A. in 2004. She lives and works in Glasgow.
She uses mostly traditional art-making materials such as plaster, paint, paper and chalk in her work, along with a small amount of substances such as cosmetics and toiletries. Her sculptures are either 'almost' or 'only just' objects and skirt amongst the mediums of painting, performance art and installation, often contrasting large scale with a fragility of form. Artists who have influenced her work include Helen Frankenthaler, Karen Kilimnick, Lynda Benglis, Robert Smithson and Richard Tuttle.
Karla Black's work has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia; the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. Black represented Scotland at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.
- Karla Black (2010), Karla Black: It's Proof That Counts, JRP/Ringier, ISBN 978-3-03764-084-5
- Karla Black: ten sculptures, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 2010
- "Karla Black In", ArtLyst, London Art Network, 24 Oct 2011
- Biography - Karla Black, David Zwirner
- Archer, Michael, Karla Black (PDF), Galerie Gisela Capitain
- Lowndes, Sarah (March 2005), "Karla Black at Mary Mary, Glasgow", Frieze (89)
- Karla Black, David Zwirner
- Biography - Karla Black, Modern Art
- Video - Karla Black at the Venice Biennale
- Smith, Elizabeth; Wagner, Anne (2016-09-06). Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016. Paul Schimmel, Jenni Sorkin (eds.). Milano: Skira. ISBN 978-88-572-3065-8.
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