Miles McEnery Gallery opens an exhibition of abstract landscape paintings by Wolf Kahn
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Miles McEnery Gallery opens an exhibition of abstract landscape paintings by Wolf Kahn
Wedge, 1995, Oil on canvas, 40 x 52 inches, 101.6 x 132.1 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Miles McEnery Gallery is presenting an exhibition of abstract landscape paintings by Wolf Kahn (1927 - 2020), on view 2 February through 11 March 2023 at 525 West 22nd Street.

Wolf Kahn was an artist concerned principally with the direct, sensual experience of color, in the tradition of other 'greats,' such as Pierre Bonnard, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Hans Hofmann, and Mark Rothko. Like Claude Monet, who chose to paint the same subjects again and again—including haystacks, waterlilies, and the Rouen Cathedral—Kahn primarily painted landscapes, but only as a ruse to explore color and light. Throughout his career, Kahn’s colors were often searing and jarring—blazing orange trees juxtaposed with hot magenta grass and skies of acidic yellow green. Color was responsive only to emotional expression and the formal needs of the canvas, not the realities of nature. His were not colors that sunlight finds in nature; instead, as the art critic Peter Schjeldahl once stated, Kahn’s 'are colors that an aroused sensibility finds, with joy, in the act of painting.' — Maura Reilly, PhD in "Wolf Kahn's Abstract Landscapes: 1985 - 1996"

Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927, Wolf Kahn fled Nazi Germany to Britain through the Kindertransport in the late 1930s. He eventually settled in the United States, where he completed high school and enrolled in the Navy. Following his service, he studied with the legendary teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, eventually becoming his studio assistant. In 1950, he enrolled at the University of Chicago and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree within one year.

Kahn had his first solo exhibition at Hansa Gallery in New York City in 1953 and went on to be represented by Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he exhibited regularly until 1995. He was the recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Medal of Arts from the State Department.

In 1957, Kahn married the artist Emily Mason. Their marriage lasted sixty-two years until Emily’s death in December 2019, just a few months before his passing. The pair lived and worked between New York City and W. Brattleboro, Vermont.

Kahn’s work has been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout North America. His work is held in important museum collections including 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; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Wolf Kahn Foundation is exclusively represented by Miles McEnery Gallery for the artist’s paintings and pastels.

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