NEW YORK, NY.- Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe
is presenting an exhibition of recent oil paintings by Wolf Kahn. The exhibition remains on view through 26 July 2013.
This is neither a retrospective gathering nor an act of closure, but part of the accumulating whole
Still, a major selection of oils on canvas by a major artist at the age of eighty-five is an occasion for praise. As are the paintings themselves. Indeed, I think it fair to argue that this late-stage flowering is evidence of further growth, the sort of work that requires a large antecedent career. Let us consider what he is doing and what he has done; this exhibition is important both for what it represents and what it builds upon.Nicholas Delbanco
Wolf Kahn is a painter who embodies a synthesis of artistic traits the modern abstract training of Hans Hofmann, the vivid palette of Matisse, Rothkos sweeping bands of color, and the atmospheric qualities of American Impressionism. The coalescence of color, spontaneity, and representation has produced a rich and expressive body of work. At eighty-five years old, Kahn has dedicated his life to rendering the American landscape.
Better understood as a colorist rather than a landscape painter, Wolf Kahn uses nature as a vehicle for his palette. With paints like bright purple, alizarin crimson, lemon yellow and thalo green, Kahn states, Im toying with the idea of using colors that everyone hates, and seeing whether I can give them a respectability, an austerity, and believability, because I love to use these colors.
From the land to the sky, and all the trees, lakes, hills and barns in between, these paintings are impressions and studies in color rather than the portrayal of any exact scene. In the summer in Vermont, he may find a place outside to set up an easel and his pastels, but the oil paintings in this exhibition have been produced in his Manhattan studio.In a sunny, large-windowed room, surrounded by his paints, Wolf Kahn works from his memory, with a touch of imagination and invention, diligently and inspiringly laying down his colors.
Wolf Kahn was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1927. He immigrated to the United States by way of England in 1940. In 1945, he graduated from the High School of Music & Art in New York, after which he spent time in the Navy. Under the GI Bill, he studied with renowned teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, later becoming Hofmanns studio assistant. In 1950, he enrolled in the University of Chicago. He graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Having completed his degree in only one year, Kahn was determined to become a professional artist. He and other Hofmann students established the Hansa Gallery, a cooperative gallery where Kahn had his first solo exhibition. In 1956, he joined the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he exhibited regularly until 1995. Kahn has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Traveling extensively, he has painted landscapes in Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, Maine, Mexico, and New Mexico. He spends his summers and autumns in Vermont on a hillside farm, which he and his wife, the painter Emily Mason, have owned since 1968.
Wolf Kahn regularly exhibits at galleries and museums across North America. His work may be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.