David Zwirner now represents Scott Kahn
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David Zwirner now represents Scott Kahn
Scott Kahn in his studio with Wolf Moon, 2023. Photo by Jason Schmidt.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Zwirner announced exclusive global representation of American artist Scott Kahn (b. 1946). The gallery will present a new painting by Kahn, Wolf Moon, at Art Basel, and a solo exhibition of the artist’s work will be on view in November 2024 at the Hong Kong location.

Rooted in the artist’s everyday life and experiences, Kahn’s enigmatic landscapes, portraits, and dreamscapes blend real and surreal elements. The artist has remained committed to a figurative mode of expression over the course of more than five decades, using a distinctive formal language to achieve a nuanced and poetic rendition of the simultaneous splendor and mundanity of the world around him. His surfaces are meticulously constructed according to precise geometries and chromatic and spatial relationships wherein the artist employs perspective and light to establish an illusory sense of depth that underscores the resonances imparted by the recurring cast of people, places, and symbols. Kahn’s works evidence his individual point of view while opening out onto universal themes, offering viewers a conduit through which to access a wide range of experiences and emotions.

David Zwirner states, “When I first encountered Scott’s work, I was completely taken off guard. I couldn’t place his art properly in either time or space. Now I believe it was an appropriate first reaction, given how Scott can transform space and bring time to a standstill. Scott’s paintings are paradoxical; they exude both intensity and quietude, making them endlessly fascinating. I was not surprised to find out that I was looking at the work of an artist who had spent decades honing his craft. I want to welcome Scott to the gallery, and I’m excited to present his work for the first time at Basel 2024, and then later this fall at our first exhibition together in Hong Kong.”

Scott Kahn was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1946. He received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 1967. The following year, Kahn took classes at the Art Students League in New York, where he studied under the painter Theodoros Stamos and encountered other influential artists such as Mark Rothko, though he soon moved away from working in an abstract idiom in favor of the figurative style for which he has become known. Kahn subsequently completed an MFA at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1970.

A seasoned painter who had been exhibiting steadily since the 1970s, Kahn began to garner widespread attention in 2018. That year, he made one very significant sale to his good friend and fellow painter Matthew Wong (1984–2019). Kahn and Wong had connected a few years prior via Facebook, where they bonded over their mutual artistic interests, eventually meeting in person and sharing their work. Wong posted Kahn’s painting Cul de Sac (2017) on his social media and praised Kahn as an important influence on his work, leading to increased public awareness of Kahn’s practice.

Kahn has since been the subject of numerous solo presentations, including Now and Then, Ober Gallery, Kent, Connecticut (2018); Diary, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York (2019); Diary Continued, Harper’s Gallery, East Hampton, New York (2019); Soul States, ATM Gallery, New York (2021); and Afternoon of a Faun, Harper’s Chelsea and Harper’s Apartment, New York (2021). In 2021 and 2022, Almine Rech held two solo presentations of Kahn’s work in Paris and New York.

The artist has also ventured into the realm of cinema. In 2023, he produced the loosely autobiographical feature-length picture Dog Bites Man, written by poet Frederick Kirwin, with works by Kahn appearing throughout the film.

Kahn has been the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants (1986 and 1995) and a residency at The Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk, New York (1975–1977). His work is held in institutional collections including the He Art Museum (HEM), Foshan, China; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Long Museum, Shanghai; and the Rachofsky Collection, Dallas.

The artist lives and works in Westchester, New York.

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