Brad Kahlhamer: Nomadic Studio, Maine Camp

October 27, 2023 – March 4, 2024

Nomadic Studio, Maine Camp is an exhibition of many of Brad Kahlhamer’s sketchbooks, accompanied by a selection of related work. The Nomadic Studio sketchbooks are a pictorial travelogue of sorts, and also a journey through the artist’s imagination and oeuvre. A selection of works from the early 2000s to 2022—including a portfolio of intaglio prints, small works on paper, and large mixed media bed sheet paintings—will also be on view, a number from the museum’s collection.

Brad Kahlhamer’s art lives at the crossroads of real and imaginary worlds. Born to Native parents and adopted by a German-American family, he spent his early adulthood as a musician living on the road before settling in New York City in the early 1980s. Since 2016, he has divided his time between New York, Mesa, Arizona, and extensive travel where he is working, exhibiting, performing, or yondering, as he describes it. For instance, from February to July of 2023, during planning of this exhibition Kahlhamer was in New York; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; the north woods of Minnesota; and locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

During his travels, Kahlhamer is always working on his Nomadic Studio, his name for the sketchbooks he travels with. He has begun his 91st sketchbook, each with fifty or more pages, full of notations, human and geographic observations, and the never-ending development of visual and text ideas that resolve into imaginative amalgamations of fantasy and biography. Kahlhamer’s sketchbooks connect myths, marks, figures, fantastic creatures, Indigenous iconography, skulls, underground comix, cultural mashups, travel observations, and his take on the American landscape. Strongly related to his larger works, which sometimes expand and explore Nomadic Studio imagery, each spread stands alone–a work complete unto itself–as well as a yondering chapter in Kahlhamer’s life. Together, they are a narrative of his inner and outer world.


Brad Kahlhamer (b. 1956 Tucson, AZ) has been the subject of over 31 solo exhibitions at prestigious venues such as Deitch Projects, New York, New York (1999, 2001, and 2006); Denver Museum of Contemporary Art (2008); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2012–2013,); Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, New York (2013, 2014, and 2017); Minnesota Museum of American Art (2019); Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota (2020); Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (2022); Tucson Museum of Art (2022); and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, New York (2022). His work is in numerous public collections internationally, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tucson Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is represented by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Supported by the Jane Costello Wellehan Endowment Fund and The Elizabeth A. Gregory, M.D. ‘38 Fund