NEW YORK, NY.- Almine Rech
is presenting One by One: Scott Kahn, featuring the painting House in Chester from 1990, marking his first collaboration since he joined the gallery.
One by One is a series of exclusive online viewing rooms dedicated to extraordinary individual artworks. Established to further refine the experience of online exhibitions, One by One features works by artists from the gallery's program on a regular basis.
Massachusetts-born Scott Kahns studio is located in Brooklyn, but his artistic fancy surfaces from a larger subjective and geographical space, one that transcends the material and the immaterial. Kahn pinpoints dream-like testimonies, found in his daytime and nighttime reveries.
In psychoanalytic theory and practice, dreams and the subtext beneath our conscious awareness, or the "latent" content, are crucial to what directly surfaces and materializes, known as the "manifest" content. Following his academic formation, interpreting the collisions of both latent and manifest content became crucial to his work. Painting landscapes and portraiture would be a gratifying detour following his initial, early career plunge into abstract painting, a mode that failed to satisfy him as deeply. It became an intervention that, for the viewer and for Kahn himself, contains multitudes, as Walt Whitman once declared in his poem Song of Myself (1855), a similar American paean to the relationship between the Self and the elemental entities of environments that surround humanity.
Grass, leaves, and tree branches elegantly frame the human and nonhuman subjects in Kahn's mesmerizing visual treatises. Experimenting with verdant hues, the viewing experience is meditative, once again recalling Whitman, who mused on the encounter between the human spirit and landscape:
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
The ecosystems Kahn makes visible in his works recall traces of Upstate New York and New England pastoralism, astutely represented and reflecting the time he spends between New York and Connecticut. In House in Chester (2021), benevolent, lush grass and adjacent foliage is rich and inviting, while temperamental skies advise caution, warning its witnesses to take cover in the perspectivally central Connecticut home, in its unostentatious but welcoming presence. Tenderly rendered by Kahn, the home's slender columns are reminiscent of Greek Revival architecture in New England, inviting the viewer into a meditative space that is characterized by warmth and safety, with ample space for contemplation.
- Kristen Cochrane, writer and researcher.