Max Kauffman

b 1981

Architecture factors heavily into my work. As a way to tell a story but also as the basis of things- the walls we form in our minds, the memory of a magic place from childhood, and recently to look at heritage. Using a mental and emotional map of places, people, and sometimes events I create images to the best of my recollection. They appear more as patterns than a concrete thing.

“Best known for his post-apocalyptic folk tales, Max Kauffman is an artist who doesn’t fear taking risks or traveling the longer road to get to an idea for his work. Kauffman’s paintings shift deftly between abstraction and figuration by blurring the distinction between real and imagined, conscious and unconscious. The suggesting and exploding forms presented in his work invite the observer’s own imaginative references and conjure the joyful mess of living. Max’s pieces encompass a sense of uncontrollable chaos and a folkloric approach to their subject matter. He investigates how we draw comfort from inanimate objects and habitats that we occupy, letting them shape us.

Kauffman was born in 1981 in Chicago and grew up in South Bend,IN. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, with a minor in Anthropology from Arizona State University in 2004. He has participated in solo and group shows across the United States as well as Italy, Canada, Mexico, and Israel. His work has been featured in publications like Boom,Vice, Beautiful Decay, Its Nice That, Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz, to name a few.

He currently lives in Denver with his cat daughter, Lady Drew.”

-Jasmine Lark, Widewalls site 2016


Bachelor of Fine Arts: Ceramics, minor in Anthropology. ASU, 2004

Solo and Two Person Exhibitions

2018 Passages, Shorts space, Denver CO

2016 When the Current Dictates, Cass Contemporary, Tampa FL

2015 Beautiful Squalor, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ

Meta Structures, Black Book Gallery

2014 Aether Ceremony, Black Book Gallery

2013 Your Vulnerability Makes You Beautiful, Loakal Gallery, Oakland CA

Home Again, Home Again, Lequivive Gallery, Oakland, CA

2012 The Reptilian Brain in Autumn, Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO

2011 Migrations, Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO

2010 R’fuah, Pawn Works, Chicago IL

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020 Time Sensitive, Blackbook Gallery

Art Call, Showhouse Jay Jay, Antwerp, Belgium

Locals Only, Mirus Gallery

2019 Bid Up! Mesa Arts Center

Altar’d Continuum, Muse De Las Americas, Denver, CO

Colorado Abstract Arvada Center for the Arts

Places inside of Places, Alto Gallery, Denver CO

Square Pegs,Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park NJ

Animalia Domain, Sanchez Contemporary, Oakland, CA

2018 Insite Onsite, Arvada Center for the Arts

Nine Lives, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park NJ

2017 Unreliable narrators, 3 person show at Vertical Gallery

2016 Blade Runner, Lesher Center for the Arts

2015 The Ballasted Frequencies, Maxwell Colette Gallery, Chicago, IL

Mute, Galerie COA, Montreal QC

Platinum Blend, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014 Scope Art Fair New York with Black Book Gallery

Edition Art Fair Chicago with Vertical Gallery, Chicago IL

2013 Scope Art Fair Miami with Black Book Gallery

Just Another Group Show in conjunction with Semi Permanent, Melbourne, AUS

Fountain Art Fair Chicago with Vertical Gallery

Art Auction #15 Long Beach Museum of Art

2012 Fresh Produce, Anno Domini gallery, San Jose CA


2019 FALLING FLAT, Skye Gallery, Aspen, CO

2018 Shorts- nomadic gallery with Andrew Hoffman

2017 Lean in Closer, Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR

2016 All the Feels, Gravity Gallery, Aspen, CO

2013 Neu Folk Revival, Lequivive Gallery, Oakland CA


Newnan Art Center Newnan, Ga Feb 2020

Black Book Gallery Jan-March 2014

Kohler Arts Center Sheboygan, WI July 2013

Wallfarmers Courtenay, BC May 2012 


Denver Westword May 2018

New South Journal No. 10 cover June 2017

Beautiful Bizarre Oct 2016

Young Space Oct 2016

Vice Creators Project Jan 2016

Cannabist Jan 2016

12 oz Prophet May 2015

Staf Magazine Nov 2014

Juxtapoz Nov 2014

Dirty Laundry July 2014

Booooooom April 2014

Exhibition-ism April 2014

Platinum Cheese April 2014

Arrested Motion March 2014

Live Free Podcast interview March 2014

Vice Motherboard Oct 2013

Beauty in Decay’ East Bay Express Sept 2013

Its Nice That feature June 2013

Booooooom feature June 2013

Platinum Cheese August 2012

Supersonic Electronic August 2012

Beautiful Decay book 6 summer 2011

Client List

303 skateboards, 72 and Sunny, Annalemma Magazine, Arbor Collective, Atlas Edibles, Denver Kush Club, Fat Tire, Flavorpill, The Head and the Heart, Hi Fructose, Motive, Mountain Dew, Nike, Ninedot Arts, PG&E, Portland Mercury, Redstar Merchandise, Sony, THC, and The Very Warm

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