“I want everything to look very natural. I love that statement by Mallarmé, that the condition to which every work of art aspires is that of having made itself."
- Wolf Kahn
The art of Wolf Kahn is distinguished by striking colors and engaging presentness. Equally and abstract artist and a landscape painter, Kahn begins with nature to construct a pictural gestalt that conveys the experience of a particular place at a particular time. Using the movement of color to evoke the ever-changing character of all landscapes, he represents the relationship of the observer to the observed, and of space to form.
In our collection, which includes works dating from 1949 to 2009, we don't see a linear progression of development, but rather and evolution of enrichment. Kahn's abstract and realistic works are part of the same continuum that constantly changed due to his desire to not paint what he already knew
Along with the intense study of the landscapes of Florida, Italy, Nambia and New England, Kahn also studied, Turner, Monet, Bonnard, Matisse and his teacher, Hans Hoffman-other painters that focused intensely on the interaction of color and light.
Central to his process was Abstract Expressionist notion of painting as a heroic act and of the artist as a visionary. Although he considered the transformative powers of art to be magical, he was also a formalist who greatly enjoyed playing visual mind games throughout his creative processes.
Kahn’s works are about the act of seeing and the process of painting. Each work is a carefully constructed representation of his field vision into a field of color and light, composed with rigorous attention to geometric order and the interplay of color. Through his wide repertoire of brushwork and chromatic range, he imposes his energy and delight in deploying color in different hues and saturations. With great conviction, and in different styles, Kahn’s art communicates his joy in the act of painting.