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The Art Portfolio of Kai Althoff

A photo of a painting with two abstracted figuresUntitled, synthetic polymer paint, oil, enamel and poster tempera on fabric on enamel painted wood stretcher frame

Kai Althoff is a German artist working in painting, sculpture, and mixed media. The artist’s works embrace a wildly colourful and sometimes almost childlike aesthetic, blending gestural mark-making with subtly detailed features and figures. 

A painting of several figures around a hospital bedUntitled, oil, lacquer, tempera and poster on cloth


I really like Althoff’s current body of paintings. These works do a beautiful job of capitalizing on the aesthetics of both figurative and abstract paintings, blending bright colours and large planes of textural colour with half-composed figures, sometimes rendered in colour, sometimes in a hazy grey that seems to float in and out of existence on the canvas surface. 


The artist’s sculptural installations take on a more playful appearance, with the artist’s choice of bright colours and sculptural stand-ins for real objects hearkening to handmade toys and retro playgrounds. Visually, the works are whimsical, and yet the viewer can’t seem to escape the idea of something deeper -- and perhaps darker -- going on under the surface.

A sculpture of a cartoonish lionUntitled (Installation view at Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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