Untitled (Prairie Girls), 2007

© Courtesy of Stuart Shave / Modern Art, London and Deitch Projects, New York

Mixed media
Overall: 273 x 339 cm

Brad Kahlhamer’s paintings and works on paper display an exuberant expressionist line, mixing the energy of country music with Native American symbolism and subversive figuration that can include strippers and skeletons. Untitled (Prairie Girls) blends sex and death, urban and rural, artificial and natural, dark and light.
“Kahlhamer’s paintings are an arena for him to explore the world of his ancestors and to create his own hybrid landscape that fuses his heritage with his own contemporary experience. He thinks of his paintings as his ‘third place,’ as distinct from the ‘first place’ of his conventional American upbringing with his adoptive parents, and the ‘second place’ of his Native American heritage. Kahlhamer creates his own personal America in his work, scrambling the real and the imaginary. The prominent use of red, white, and blue in his works represents his own version of the American flag, constructed out of sky, water, and the American earth. Colors have specific symbolism in Kahlhamer’s paintings: Black is the East; his towers of black amplifiers stand in for skyscrapers and urban development. Blue is for sky, the wind, and velocity. Browns and reds are for earth and flesh. Yellow is for understanding. Transparency and openness are about possibility.”[i] (TBA21)

[i] From Jeffrey Deitch, “Brad Kahlhamer’s Friendly Frontier,” Brad Kahlhamer (Milan: Edizione Charta, 2007)

*1956 in Tucson, USA | Living and working in New York, USA