Provence Blue, oil on canvas, 52″ x 60″, 2017
Blue to Yellow Through Green, oil on canvas, 52″ x 52″, 2016
High Pink Sky, oil on canvas, 52″ x 52″, 2016
A Glimpse of Blue, oil on canvas, 24″ x 26″, 2016
Summer Light Caught in the Woods, oil on canvas, 60″ x 52″, 2017
At the Edge of the Pond, oil on canvas, 66″ x 52″, 2016
The Interior Light of the Forest, oil on canvas, 52″ x 66″, 2017
All Paintings Courtesy of the Artist and Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe
The art of Wolf Kahn is distinctive for its unique blend of realism and Color Field painting. It embodies a synthesis of artistic traits: the modern abstract training of Hans Hofmann, the palette of Matisse, the sweeping bands of color of Mark Rothko, the atmospheric qualities of American impressionism.
Rooted in direct observation and demonstrating Wolf Kahn’s ongoing exploration of the relationships of color and form, the paintings reveal quick, flickering brush strokes that capture subtle differences in light and shadow. Tonalities shift in intensity, and contrast. What is vivid and radiant on one canvas may be darker, moody, jarring on another. Color, spontaneity, and representation fuse to produce work that is at once rich and expressive, simultaneously descriptive and abstract.
About the Artist
Wolf Kahn was born in 1927 in Stuttgart, Germany, and, via England, came to the United States in 1940. A graduate of New York City’s High School of Music & Art, he served in the Navy and later, under the GI Bill, studied with the renowned teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann; subsequently, he became Hofmann’s studio assistant. In 1950, Wolf Kahn enrolled in the University of Chicago, graduating the following year with a bachelor of arts degree and determined to become a professional artist.
With other former Hofmann students, Wolf Kahn established the cooperative Hansa Gallery, where he had his first solo exhibition. In 1956, he joined Grace Borgenicht Gallery, regularly exhibiting there until 1995.
The recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Wolf Kahn also has been given an Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art and the U.S. State Department’s International Medal of Arts.
Summers and autumns, Wolf Kahn lives with his wife, the painter Emily Mason, in Vermont on a hillside farm the couple has owned since 1968. He otherwise lives and works in New York City and travels extensively, painting landscapes in Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, Maine, Mexico, and New Mexico, among other places.
Wolf Kahn exhibits at galleries and museums throughout North America. He last showed a new group of paintings representing two years of daily studio practice at Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery, New York City, from November 16, 2017, through December 23, 2017. (An exhibition catalogue, Wolf Kahn, with an essay by John Yau is available through the gallery.)
Work by Wolf Kahn is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, all in New York, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Hirshhorn Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.