Disappearing and reemerging with artist Stephen Kaltenbach
By Andrea Gronvall for the Chicago Reader
“Stephen Kaltenbach has been among the most influential American artists since the late 1960s, when he helped introduce the movement known as conceptualism. Near the height of his youthful fame in 1970 he left the New York art scene for northern California, where he still resides. A sculptor, painter, and installation and performance artist, Kaltenbach was in town last weekend for Expo Chicago. On Friday he spoke at the Independent Curators International (ICI) booth about his stainless steel Untitled Time Capsules. (ICI is also touring a group show, “State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970,” opening October 3 at the Smart Museum, which will feature Kaltenbach’s Art Works, 1968-2005 and Artforum Ads, 1969-70.)
Also last weekend he appeared at the opening of a show of his works at Bert Green Fine Art, where he spoke to me about his career.
AG: The other day when I asked you how long it took art followers to catch up with you, you replied that you weren’t especially approachable when you were young, and had a hard time being serious. You mentioned that early on your supporters were not audiences, per se. Can you expound on that?
SK: I really liked humor in sculpture, painting, and conceptual art, so I was fine with being pretty inaccessible. I had learned a lot in art history classes: if you do art secretly, and you don’t initially have a lot of luck, people will explain what you do, people who can explain it better than, say, I can.”
Read the rest of Andrea Gronvall’s interview with Stephen Kaltenbach here.