View of “Kai Althoff,” 2014.

View of “Kai Althoff,” 2014.

Kai Althoff

Michael Werner | London

View of “Kai Althoff,” 2014.

Walking into this exhibition was like stepping into a time warp. Was this Kai Althoff’s imagining of a workshop of some seventeenth-century Puritan dressmaker? After all, linens were draped from ceiling to floor, and three clothed dress forms were positioned among a worktable and chairs. Yet at the same time, four thick knitted sweaters and brightly colored plastic paintbrushes were also strewn about the scene, while music from Althoff’s latest LP, Fanal 4, provided the sound track to the strange scene. Paintings, some of them oddly shaped, were positioned around the room. They alluded to such a vast number of artistic styles and periods—from medieval weaving to German Expressionism, folk art, Cubism, and symbolism; even Picasso’s Blue Period made an appearance—that it was difficult to put a finger on one.

In this theatrical and pseudo-historical space, bathed in a warm

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