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