Jack Bankowsky

View of “Kai Althoff: Punkt, Absatz, Blümli (period, paragraph, Blümli),” 2011, Gladstone Gallery, New York.

1 Kai Althoff, “Punkt, Absatz, Blümli (Period, Paragraph, Blümli)” (Gladstone Gallery, New York) The first time I met Kai Althoff, the rakish ephebe was perched expectantly on the edge of a wheelchair, furtively scratching his stigmata. Not really! But there is something in the overwrought desiring machine that is his art—an old-fashioned aesthete’s brew of inverts and valiants, blood oaths and brother love—that gives the truth to my lie. His winter solo, a stuffed-to-the-gills mise-en-scène bathed in a sickly fluorescent glare, led one through a salon-style smattering of mostly miniature Vuillard­-meets-Otto-Dix pictures, past a wall-size shelving unit chockablock with pottery-class mugs, and into the sanctum sanctorum, where a man-in-the-moon beanbag face peaceably slumbered in a nest of ermine (one eye, unnervingly, wide-open). Folk art intensity and pictorial

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