Brad Kahlhamer: The Spirit of Place in an Artist’s Soul

installation view of Brad Kahlhamer Bowery Nation + Hawk + Eagle (2019) at Bockley Gallery
photo by Rik Sferra

Mason Riddle reviews new exhibitions by Brad Kahlhammer, A Nation of One at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul and Bowery Nation + Hawk + Eagle at Bockley Gallery, which together “provide a fluid ecosystem made of ideas and impulses, and words and images that circle back to notions of identify and place.” She writes:

Kahlhamer is an unapologetic storyteller whose work is an expressive matrix of image and text in a web of gestural markings. He effortlessly co-mingles the real with the fantastical, metaphor with fact, and a loose expressive gestures with a meticulously rendered form. Precise meanings are oblique. His are not universal narratives, but a compendium of personal, experiential tales that give meaning to his multivalent life as an artist-explorer-Indigenous person. The natural world of plants and animals, the social arena of friends, family and colleagues, and the allegorical atlas of visited sites, all claim a vital seat at his creative table.