I met Karsten in 1986, he would have been in his mid-twenties - a bit brash and unreliable-unrecognisable from his stature and the affection felt for him in the art world at his death.
Karsten always had that incredible eye, matched by his breadth of knowledge and familiarity with every museum in Europe and the USA. Always extremely opinionated, he wore his learning lightly and it was a joy to visit an exhibition or museum with him.
Karsten despised English middle-class taste, his tended towards Antiquity, the Roman, the Egyptian, and of course all the great art of the 20th century. His flat was full of treasures, nothing was put away at his parties, the Carl Andre was always there to be trodden on.
Since Karsten’s death tributes to his extravagant generosity have poured in, his parties were frequent and famous, his generosity extended to books, concerts, his cottage in Norfolk- but also to his time. Karsten listened, he gave really good advice and was always available wherever in the world he happened to be.
I think he must have been the best and most fun boss, so many great people worked with him and for him over the years, and his office has always been a hotbed of laughter and scandalous gossip with Karsten at the centre of it.
Ridinghouse, Karsten’s publishing house was his pride and joy. Karsten loved books and equally loved giving them away. His immense library has been donated to UEA.
He was equally brilliant at making exhibitions in unexpected places, sadly Karsten will not see Dialectical Materialism, conceived just before he was in hospital.
Although Karsten’s life seemed glamorous and fast paced, in reality he loved nothing more than weekends in Norfolk with Tess, his dog, reading, writing and walking on the beach.
All of us who knew him will miss him.
AW, August 2019