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Horst Kohlem has been working consistently as a painter and sculptor since he graduated with 

his Masters degree from the Karlsruhe Art Academy. His huge oeuvre has diverse thematic 

perspectives including historical, mythological and environmental themes. From his early landscape 

objects, to recent paintings, his work is known for its physical materiality, like Anselm Kiefer and 

Emil Schumacher, from the same academy. 

The sculptures are made from objects whose normal context Kohlem deconstructs so they become 

relics of our technological age. Through his use of the metallic oxidation process, the sculptures 

gain an archaic dimension. 

Kohlem's unique technique of painting is achieved by casting the paintings on canvas horizontally 

to create a thick crusty surface often like terra cotta. Journalist Irene Sperber once said "The layers of surfaces

give the paintings a visual complexity and they can become relics of underwater decay and transformation,

where color and light flourish."

Both the paintings and the sculptures appear to be remnants of past cultures - excavated crusts.

Kohlem attempts to overcome the transitory nature of time and reduces the significance of its 

chronology by focusing on the timeless character of his art. 

To quote Diane Camber of the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, "Many of Kohlem's works contain 

intriguing and subtle references to non- Western or ancient cultures, although they may be 

appreciated entirely as abstractions."

Barbara Matilsky of the Queens Museum in New York once said of his work "One's sense of 

place in the universe is obliquely alluded to in Kohlem's work."



Selection of Art in Public Places 


Bass Museum Collection, Miami Beach, Florida

Stadtische Gallery Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

Museo de Arte Contemperano, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Queens Museum, New York, USA

Landesmuseum Oldenburg, Germany

Burocenter Fischer, Karlsruhe, Germany

Klinik Goldenbuehl, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany 

City Hall, Miami, Florida

Oldenburg State Theater, Germany

City of Karlsruhe, Gartenbauamt, Germany