Kai Althoff: Kai Kein Respekt (Kai No Respect)


Kai Althoff, Bekehrung, 2002, Paint, paper, watercolor, and varnish on canvas, 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (49.9 x 69.9 x 7.9 cm), Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Dean Valentine and Amy Adelson, Los Angeles, 2006.29

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago © 2002 Kai Althoff
An installation view shows artworks hanging on the red-painted walls of a gallery, with another turquoise gallery to the side.

Installation view of Kai Althoff: Kai Kein Respekt (Kai No Respect), MCA Chicago, Sep 25, 2004–Jan 23, 2005

Photo: © MCA Chicago


This exhibition, the first museum survey of the work of German artist Kai Althoff, features a selection of the artist’s extraordinarily delicate and evocative watercolors, finely wrought pencil drawings, highly inventive collages and paintings, and multimedia installations. Tapping a multitude of sources—from Germanic folk traditions to recent popular culture, from medieval and gothic religious imagery to early modern expressionism—Althoff’s characters inhabit imaginary worlds that serve as allegories for human experience and emotion.

Kai Althoff was born in 1966 in Cologne, Germany, where he currently lives and works. This exhibition is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The MCA’s presentation is coordinated by Manilow Senior Curator Francesco Bonami, and Pamela Alper Associate Curator Dominic Molon.


Kai Althoff: Kai Kein Respekt (Kai No Respect) is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Major funding has been provided by David Teiger and Institute für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. The Chicago presentation is sponsored in part by the North Shore Affiliate of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Orbit Fund.