AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE is delighted to celebrate Wolf Kahn—who turned 90 this year—with an exhibition of recent paintings. The exhibition will open 16 November and remain on view through 23 December 2017. A public reception for the artist will be held on 16 November from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by John Yau.
This ambitious body of work represents the past two years of Wolf Kahn’s daily studio practice, and demonstrates his continued exploration of the relationships of color and form. With quick, flickering brushstrokes and delineated bands of vivid hues, Kahn creates landscapes that are simultaneously descriptive and abstract. As John Yau notes, these paintings serve as a means to “explore color relationships that range from moody, dark, subtly shifting tonalities to jarring collisions of saturated intensities.”
Kahn’s work remains rooted in direct observation, with each season producing a new challenge. His recent paintings highlight his finely tuned ability to capture subtle differences in light and shadow: some canvases are suffused with an intense radiance, while others contain darker, more sharply contrasted tones. After many decades, Kahn continues to make color his primary subject, in all of its shades and permutations.
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1927, Wolf Kahn 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 Hofmann’s studio assistant. In 1950, he enrolled in the University of Chicago, and 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 former 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, an Award in Art from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Medal of Arts from the U.S. State Department.
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.
The unique blend of Realism and formal discipline of Color Field painting sets the work of Wolf Kahn apart. Kahn is an artist who embodies a synthesis of artistic traits—the modern abstract training of Hans Hofmann, the palette of Matisse, Rothko’s sweeping bands of color, the atmospheric qualities of American Impressionism. The fusion of color, spontaneity and representation has produced a rich and expressive body of work.
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 the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.