Kai Althoff

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Kai Althoff
Born February 1966
Nationality German
Style multimedia art

Kai Althoff (born 1966 in Cologne) is a German visual artist and musician.

Life and work[edit]

Kai Althoff was born in Cologne, Germany in February 1966. He is a multimedia artist and a painter. Borrowing from moments of history, religious iconography, and counter-cultural movements, Althoff creates imaginary environments in which paintings, sculpture, drawing, video, and found objects commingle.[1] Tapping a multitude of sources, from Germanic folk traditions to recent popular culture, from medieval and gothic religious imagery to early modern expressionism, Althoff’s characters inhabit imaginary worlds that serve as allegories for human experience and emotion.[2] His image bank and painterly style also draw on the past, especially early-20th-century German Expressionism, reconfigured by introducing collaged technique.[3]

Much of Althoff's work is collaborative. For the 4th Berlin Biennale, Althoff and Lutz Braun created the site-specific installation Kolten Flynn, made up of three vitrines draped in red foil and full of a child’s paintings, drawings, pens and other abandoned materials.[4] Along with Yair Oelbaum, he conceived the dramatic play There we will be buried (2010), which debuted in 2011 at the Dixon Studio in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England. For their U.S.-premiere performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the pair portrayed the show’s main characters, Orpah and Lydia, two single mothers searching for a lost daughter.[5] In Die Kleine Bushaltestelle (Gerüstbau) (Little Bus Stop [Scaffolding], 2012) Althoff performed alongside fellow artist Isa Genzken in a 70-minute absurdist comedy shot on home video.[6]

Althoff's work has been included in several books listing contemporary artists, such as Art Now, published by Taschen. He is also a musician, releasing solo work under such monikers as Fanal, Engelhardt/Seef/Davis Coop. or Ashley's. He and Justus Köhncke perform as Subtle Tease, and he co-founded the band Workshop with Christoph Rath, Stefan Mohr and Stephan Abry.[7]


Althoff has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide, including at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Kunsthalle Zürich; and Simultanhalle, Cologne.[8] From 18 September 2016 through 22 January 2017, Kai Althoff: and then leave me to the common swifts was on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2014, a solo exhibition, Kai Althoff, was presented at Michael Werner Gallery, London. He has also shown work in group exhibitions including the 2004 Venice Biennale, Drawing Now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Chère Paintre, Liebe Maler, Dear Painter at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, A Perilous Space at Magnani in London and Kaiki at Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea.

He is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York, Galerie NEU in Berlin, and Michael Werner Gallery in London.



External links[edit]